Grades/Level: Adult Learners
Subjects: Visual Arts, English–Language Arts, ESL
Time Required: Short Activity
30–45 minutes
Author: Getty Museum Education Staff

For the Classroom

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Lesson Plans
Tips for Teaching about Portraits
Tips for Teaching about Landscapes
Tips for Teaching about Narrative Art

Lesson Overview

Students will spend more time looking at details and write an imagined interview with a sitter.

Learning Objectives

• Students use portrait vocabulary to answer questions about visual images.


• One of the two portraits below
• Looking at Portraits Vocabulary
• Student Activity Sheet: Interview

Lesson Steps

• Have students pretend they are newspaper reporters and their assignment is to interview this man or woman. Ask them to take out their Interview activity sheet. Students should imagine possible answers based on careful observation of the sitter.

• If you are working with Bust of a Man by Francis Harwood, explain to students that often we can't identify the person in a portrait. Not all portraits are commissioned; an artist might simply choose to make a portrait of someone as a study or an example of a type of person.

• Give students enough time to work on their interviews. Ask them to write complete sentences and to explain their answers using their new vocabulary. (For example: Her posture and attire show that she is a wealthy woman who is very proud.)

• Ask students to share their answers with the class. If you do not have time for everyone to share, ask each person to share only one question on their interview sheet.

• What do you think the artist wanted to communicate about the sitter? Explain your answer.

• If this person were speaking, what would he say?

• Does he or she remind you of anyone you know? If so, compare the characteristics of the two people.

Marquesa de Santiago / de Goya y Lucientes
Portrait of the Marquesa de Santiago, Francisco José de Goya y Lucientes, 1804