Last year I ran another project with my Intermediate students ,inspired by my dear colleague Patty Salguero, an English teacher in Peru. We talked about running a joint project in an attempt to connect our students through arts. We decided to talk about Peace and War ,our creativity triggered by Picasso’s painting Guernica.
I took it a step further and added more forms of Ars, filming and music. This is the first post of the whole project, starting with interpreting Picasso’s painting, Guernica. I will present it like a lesson plan so that I can it keep it brief, precise and clear.
Present the painting over a projector on the whiteboard. Let the students observe the painting. Let them even come close to the whiteboard so that they can have a closer look.
Give them time to write down all the objects they have seen. It is a good chance to revise vocabulary related to emotions, war, peace, face expressions and body language. Draw a mindmap with subheadings on the whiteboard and let them add all the words they have come up with accordingly.
As homework, share the link of an interpretation of the painting by the expert Gijs van Hensbergen in an article on BBC News. (Source news.bbc). Their work should be to scan the text and note down the most important information they think there is. Emphasise that they do not need to understand all the points of the text ,which might be of a higher level than theirs. The objective of the task is to recognise the information and the key meanings to fulfil the assignment.
In the next lesson ,students gather all the symbolism of the different parts of the painting on a board. They can even gather them all on a digital board like padlet.com.
In the final stage of the first part of the project, students summarise their comments, opinions, emotions in a paragraph. It is the time to evaluate this masterpiece of Art on paper. They can even write a post on their blog or record a Vlog if they wish to express themselves in digital form.