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MFA for Educators

Engage your students with the collections of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, to illustrate themes and concepts in any discipline.

Writing and Art: Using Visual Evidence to Support Writing

This lesson examines the relationship between art and writing. Through several works of art, students generate a narrative through conversation by making observations. Each image has an accompanying writing activity. This lesson was designed to touch on a variety of different writing skills and genres.

The details in each of these visual works helps writers use evidence to support their thinking as well as inspire deeper questioning. Students will extend their understanding of a narrative, using the visual piece to identify main characters, conflict, and resolution while supporting their argument by closely examining each work of art. While each piece is matched with a specific writing activity, we encourage teachers to adapt and modify these prompts to fit the needs of their students.

The objects in this lesson are just the beginning. We encourage you to explore the Museum’s online collection through this web source—or even better, to visit the Museum and walk through the physical galleries—to look for other objects that will provide further insights into this exhibitions

Learning goals:

In exploring this lesson, students will:

-Discover how to use a visual image to create written work

-Explore a variety of paintings and sculpture from around the world

This discovery will require students to:

-Look closely at the images and make observations based on visual evidence. 

-Make connections between the visual art and the history that encompasses its creation

-Use visual evidence to support their written understanding

-Develop vocabulary that describes specific visual image

Using this resource: 

English teachers and students will be interested in the sensory detail imbedded within paintings, which could then be translated into writing

English teachers and students will be interested in using the visual images as story starters.

ESL teacher and students will be interested in building vocabulary and extending writing skills.

Visual Art teachers and students will be interested techniques and styles with each work of art