Portraits and Portrayals--Whole-Class & Small Group Discussions

View Portraits

  1. Students will then begin looking at a series of portraits.  Starting with Portrait #1, students will brainstorm a list of words they might use to describe the way Marilyn Monroe or Vincent van Gogh appear in each of the 5 portraits.  Students will have 1 minute per portrait to brainstorm.
  1. After students have brainstormed, they will refine their brainstorming.  Now students will only focus on the two Monroe portraits.  Over two minutes of time, the students will see both portraits again and work to refine their brainstorming lists (by adding and eliminating words).  Students should only use ADJECTIVES to describe the way Monroe appears in each portrait.
  1. Students will share their brainstormed ideas on Monroe with the entire class as the teacher notes them on the overhead.
  1. Next, students will work together to choose only 2 words--the best 2 words--to describe Monroe as she is portrayed in Portrait #1.  With the portrait in view, students should defend their choices and argue until the class comes to a consensus. 
  1. Then, in small groups, students will focus on Portrait #2.  With the portrait in view, students must agree with each other in their groups on which 2 words are the best 2 words to describe Monroe as she is portrayed in that picture.
  1. The following day, teacher and students will write descriptive sentences focused on Monroe's physical appearance in Portrait #1 to convey the 2 words (the portrayal) the class agreed on.  (See notes on that here.)
  1. Following the class discussion on Portrait #1, students will return to their small groups and work together to write 3 sentences to specifically describe Monroe to convey the portrayal they agreed upon for Portrait #2.