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 exterior spaces depicted in works of art. Students practice using vocabulary associated with the weather and time of day. Activities in this section teach students about some of the elements of art (color and line) and about writing descriptions of the weather and time of day.

Learning Objectives

Students will be able to:
• orally discuss the weather and time of day being depicted in a work of art.
• write a weather report using vocabulary associated with the weather and time of day.

Materials

• Reproduction of A Winter Scene by Hendrik Meyer
• Reproduction of Modern Rome–Campo Vaccino by Joseph Mallord William Turner
• Information for Teaching about A Winter Scene by Hendrik Meyer
• Information for Teaching about Modern Rome–Campo Vaccino by Joseph Mallord William Turner
• Teacher Resource: "Art Vocabulary"
• A weather report from any newspaper
• Student Handout: "A Weather Report"
• Paper and pencils

Lesson Steps

1. Begin by identifying vocabulary associated with the weather (for example, cold, rain, sunny) and the time of day (for example, morning, afternoon, evening). Ask students to discuss the following:

  • Describe what the weather is like today.
  • Describe the typical weather in your country of origin.
  • Share what your favorite season is, and why it is your favorite season.
  • Share what your favorite time of day is, and why it is your favorite time of day.

2. Inform students that colors can be cool or warm. Cool colors include blue, green, and white. Warm colors include red, orange, and yellow. (See the Art Vocabulary.)

3. Show students the reproduction of A Winter Scene. (See the Information for Teaching about A Winter Scene by Hendrik Meyer.) Ask students the following:

  • What colors do you see? Are they cool colors or warm colors?
  • Describe the weather and time of day in the drawing.
  • What is happening in the picture?

4. As a class, discuss details in the work that give clues about the weather and time of day. Have students provide their thoughts by using the following sentence frame: I think it is _______________ because I see _______________.

5. Repeat the previous two steps with the painting Modern Rome–Campo Vaccino. Discuss how the colors help identify the weather and time of day (i.e., Turner used orange and yellow to depict a warm climate in the late afternoon, while Meyer used blue and white to depict a cool climate during the morning or afternoon). (See the Information for Teaching about Modern Rome–Campo Vaccino by Joseph Mallord William Turner.)

6. As a class, look at a sample weather report from a newspaper. Write out sentences indicating the weather being described. For example, "It is sunny. The weather is 75 degrees." Using one of the images, have students write their own sample report using the "A Weather Report" student handout.

7. Ask volunteers to read their weather report to the class as if they were on TV. Project the appropriate image as the students report on the weather depicted.

A Winter Scene/Meyer
A Winter Scene, Hendrik Meyer, 1787

Extensions

  • Pass out paper and blue, green, white, red, orange, and yellow colored pencils. Ask students to draw a scene depicting their favorite season in their country of origin. Ask students to use warm or cool colors to illustrate their scene.

  • Have students describe to the class the weather and time of day in their drawing.