Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Creative Ways to Teach Grammar

Have you ever thought about using paintings to teach grammar?   Integrating art is great for teaching critical thinking skills.  This is a great way to help students learn how to analyze and evaluate information as well as explain their ideas.

Adjectives, nouns, and even verbs can easily be taught using art.

How to Teach This Concept

For Verbs:  
Artwork to Use
Mary Cassatt ( Her artwork often shows the daily life of women and children)
Diego Rivera (His murals show daily life in Mexico in the early 1900s).
Possible Activities For Verbs:

  • Have students use vivid verbs to describe the actions they see in Mary Cassatt's artwork.  
  • Use a thesaurus to find a synonym for a more common word used to describe the actions in Diego Rivera's artwork.
  • Roy Lichtenstein's artwork.  His painting Whaam! can also be used to teach onomatopoeia.

For Adjectives:
Grant Wood (His most famous painting is American Gothic.  This is the picture of the farmer and his wife.)  
Georgia O'Keefe 
Vincent Van Gogh
Henri Matisse

Possible Activities For Adjectives:

  • Discuss shades of meaning with vocabulary.  Students will select an adjective to describe the painting and then think of an even more descriptive synonym.
  • Create a word splash.  On a sheet of paper, the student can write all the adjectives that come to mind when they see the picture.

Nouns (Specific paintings are listed):
A Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte (Georges Seurat)
Roy Lichtenstein (use any of his art)  
The Builders (Jacob Lawrence)

Possible Activity For Nouns:

  • Have a noun poetry slam.  Students can create a poem that only has nouns.  The nouns that they see in the painting will be written down.  While showing the painting on a screen, students can read their noun poem aloud while soft jazz plays.

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