Grades/Level: Lower Elementary (K–2), Upper Elementary (3–5), Middle School (6–8), High School (9–12), Adult Learners
Subjects: Visual Arts, English–Language Arts, ESL
Time Required: Single Class Lesson
1-hour class period
Author: J. Paul Getty Museum Education Staff

Language through Art Contents


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Art Vocabulary (PDF, 3MB)

Lesson Overview

This lesson focuses on an interior space depicted in a work of art. Students practice using vocabulary associated with a room and objects in the room. Activities in this lesson focus on writing descriptive sentences using some of the elements of art (color and texture) and adjectives.

Learning Objectives

Students will be able to:
• orally describe the color and texture of objects.
• use adjectives in a written sentence to describe objects in a room.

Materials

• Reproduction of Amadeo Sandoval's Kitchen and Bedroom, Río Lucío, New Mexico by Alex Harris
• Information for Teaching about Amadeo Sandoval's Kitchen and Bedroom, Río Lucío, New Mexico by Alex Harris
• A picture dictionary that illustrates different kinds of rooms
• Teacher Resource: "Art Vocabulary"
• Bag of items of different textures
• Student Handout: "How Does It Feel?"
• Paper and pencils

Lesson Steps

1. Display images from a picture dictionary showing different types of domestic rooms (kitchen, bathroom, bedroom, etc.). List the names of these rooms on the board and ask students to suggest additional rooms found in houses or apartments (such as playroom, laundry room, living room, etc.).

2. Ask students to describe the use of a room by identifying one activity they can do in that room. Examples: I cook in my kitchen. I sleep in a bedroom.

3. Show a reproduction of the photograph Amadeo Sandoval's Kitchen and Bedroom, Río Lucío, New Mexico. (See the Information for Teaching about Amadeo Sandoval's Kitchen and Bedroom, Río Lucío, New Mexico by Alex Harris.) Lead a class discussion by asking students the following questions:

  • What type of room do you see in the foreground?
  • What activity(ies) can you do in this room?
  • What type of room do you see in the background?
  • What activity(ies) can you do in this room?

4. On the board, make two columns with the headings "Adjectives" (on the left) and "Objects" (on the right). Ask students, "What are some objects you see in the room?" Note student responses in the right-hand column on the board.

5. Inform students that you will work together to come up with descriptive words (adjectives) to identify some of the objects found in Amadeo Sandoval's rooms. Tell students that colors are adjectives since they help describe an object. Review the list of objects in the right-hand column and ask students for the color(s) of each object. For example: black-and-white stove; red blanket. Write student responses in the left-hand column on the board, next to the appropriate object.

6. Tell students that you will work as a class to come up with more adjectives that will help describe some of the textures found in Sandoval's rooms. You will use a bag of items of different textures associated with objects in the photograph, such as something soft (a piece of velvet), something hard (a piece of metal), something rough (a piece of sandpaper), etc.

7. Hand the bag to Student #1 and instruct him or her to reach inside the bag, pull out one object and pass it around the class for everyone to feel. Have the student describe its texture to the class and relate it to an item in the photograph (for example, soft blanket). (If they cannot come up with the word in English, have students say the word in their own language. Call on other students to help when a student is having difficulty identifying or finding the word to describe an object in the picture.) Note student responses in the "Adjectives" column on the board, next to the appropriate object. (You may have several adjectives to describe the same object.) After the student finishes describing the texture of the object, have him or her pass the bag to Student #2, and so on.

8. Pass out the "How Does It Feel?" handout to each student. Have students complete the handout by drawing a line from the texture word to an object in the room that represents that texture.

9. Next, ask students to turn the handout over and write a sentence for each texture word that they paired with an object. Each sentence should have at least one adjective that describes an object and should identify the room it is in. Examples: The soft blanket is in the kitchen. The silky curtains are in the bedroom.

10. Have students share their handouts with a partner. Have pairs discuss which objects they chose for each adjective.

Sandoval's Kitchen/Harris
Amadeo Sandoval's Kitchen and Bedroom, Río Lucío, New Mexico, Alex Harris, June 1985

Extensions

  • Ask students to orally describe some of the colors and textures in the classroom.

  • Have students bring in a picture of a room in their home. Ask students to write a sentence that describes an object in the room and identifies the room it is in.