Art - A brush with the unusual

15th February 2013 at 00:00

What it's all about

I recently taught an experimental "active approaches" workshop at the Dulwich Picture Gallery in London, to give Year 3 pupils an interactive experience of the spectacular paintings on show, writes Jerome Monahan. The theme was "children" - ideal when images of the young are on show throughout a gallery.

In the hour-long class, I focused on five images and used various drama- based techniques to develop pupils' understanding. One stop was Carracci's 1580s painting St Francis in Meditation. Having discussed the image of St Francis praying in a cave beneath winged infants, or cherubim, we looked at his life. The most excited discussion was prompted by his love of preaching to the birds and by how easily he had discarded a life of comfort. The whole class became involved in playing St Francis and the wolf.

Another stop was Nicolas Poussin's 1637 The Nurture of Jupiter, which shows the young god suckling the teats of the goat Amalthea (the source of much appalled delight). The challenge was to work out how the Cretan nymphs protected Jupiter from his murderous father, Cronus. The solution was not in the painting, so the children had to create their own.

Such techniques are often used at the National Gallery and the Tate galleries. But I still experienced a thrill standing before those old masters - the perfect prompt for some of the liveliest teaching I have done with children anywhere.

What else?

Children create an imaginary box and turn it into a home in this drama lesson from ClaireOCallaghan. bit.lyCreateABox

Bring Matilda the Musical to life in your classroom using workshop ideas shared by TES partner Royal Shakespeare Company. bit.lyMatildaInClass.

Subscribe to get access to the content on this page.

If you are already a Tes/ Tes Scotland subscriber please log in with your username or email address to get full access to our back issues, CPD library and membership plus page.

Not a subscriber? Find out more about our subscription offers.
Subscribe now
Existing subscriber?
Enter subscription number

Comments

The guide by your side – ensuring you are always up to date with the latest in education.

Get Tes magazine online and delivered to your door. Stay up to date with the latest research, teacher innovation and insight, plus classroom tips and techniques with a Tes magazine subscription.
With a Tes magazine subscription you get exclusive access to our CPD library. Including our New Teachers’ special for NQTS, Ed Tech, How to Get a Job, Trip Planner, Ed Biz Special and all Tes back issues.

Subscribe now