2 Art, talk and writing

Now try these activities for yourself.

Activity 3: Art, talk and writing

Art can stimulate language learning and language practice. Look at these two paintings made by Class VI students. The teacher asked students to describe their paintings. The teacher transcribed these descriptions into Hindi and English, and created bilingual reading passages to go with the pictures. Students practised reading the passages in the language lesson.

The teacher then created the following reading and writing activity, using the transcribed descriptions. Try it out yourself.

Look at the painting [Figure 1].

Figure 1 A painting by a Class VI student.

Fill in the blanks in the passage given below with the words in the box.

On the right side ____________ a man is standing near a big bin. On the ____________ there is a woman. She ____________ doing some work. There are children playing ____________ their parents. The house ____________ it belongs to this family. By the river ____________ many trees. The sky ____________ and the trees ____________.

seems to be left side looks like there is
is blue are green near there are

Now look at a second painting [Figure 2].

Figure 2 Another painting by a Class VI student.

Write a short passage about the picture in English and read the passage aloud.

Now choose some words and phrases in the passage to leave out and mark these on your writing.

How would you adapt this activity for younger or older classes?

Activity 4: Art, talk and writing − a planning activity

Using the previous activity as a guide, develop an exercise using paintings made by students that will help their English language skills. If you don’t have paintings from your students you can use pictures from magazines, newspapers or catalogues.

List the steps you would need to take to implement this activity.

Would you do it over one lesson or two lessons?

Now carry out the activity with your students. Did they enjoy it? Did all the students participate? Did you notice any students who did not participate?

This type of art activity encourages students to talk and write in English. Such activities can also help students to talk and write about bullying among students and societal biases, in a non-threatening manner. For example, a teacher can use students’ drawings largely depicting women in the kitchen and men reading newspapers to get them to think about gender stereotypes.

1 Using art and craft to stimulate English language learning

3 Using drama and role play to stimulate English language learning