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Writing and Discussion Activities for Image Resources

Japanese Teahouse: Sunkaraku by Ōgi Rodō
  • Imagine that you are an architect and, like Ōgi Rodō, you are going to design a house that combines some old things, some new things, and some natural things. What old things, new things, and natural things will you use? Explain why. Make a drawing or a model of your house.
  • For centuries, Japanese people have participated in the tea ceremony in order to experience a special moment of harmony and peace that can be carried into their daily lives. What activities bring harmony and peace into your life?

Seated Riffian by Henri Matisse
  • Pretend that the man depicted in Seated Riffian is the main character in a story. Give him a name and a family. Describe a day in his life.
  • Imagine changing all the colors in Seated Riffian. Make a list of new colors. How would the new palette change the mood of the painting?

Tar Beach 2 by Faith Ringgold
  • Imagine that Cassie (the girl portrayed on the quilt) and you could fly over Philadelphia during the day and at night. What do you think you would see and enjoy in our city? Create a dialogue between Cassie and you about this experience.
  • Cassie’s apartment roof, which she called “Tar Beach,” was one of her favorite places. What is one of your favorite places? Close your eyes and imagine that you are there. Notice how this place looks, feels, and smells. What sounds and tastes do you experience? Write a description of it including all five senses.

Jerusalem Stabile by Alexander Calder
  • Create a cartoon character based on Jerusalem Stabile. Draw a comic strip showing where the character goes, what adventures it has, who it meets, and how it travels. Add “word balloons” to indicate a conversation between your character and whomever and whatever it meets.
  • Check out other sculptures by Alexander Calder in books or online ( Can you find stabiles or mobiles? How are they similar and different from Jerusalem Stabile?

Fox Hunt by Winslow Homer
  • Read a variety of stories about foxes, such as:
    • The Fox and the Crow and The Fox and the Grapes from Aesop’s Fables (
    • The Tales of Uncle Remus: The Adventures of Brer Rabbit, as told by Julius Lester, illustrated by Jerry Pinkney
    • The Fox Maiden, written by Elsa Marson, illustrated by Tatsuro Kiuchi
    • Cinnabar, the One O’Clock Fox, written by Marguerite Henry, illustrated by Wesley Dennis
    What character traits do all these foxes from different cultures have? How are they similar and different? Which one is most similar to the fox depicted in Fox Hunt? Why?
  • Would you like to live quietly by yourself on the seacoast like the painter Winslow Homer? Or with your family in a bustling city (Philadelphia or New York) like Cassie (from Tar Beach 2)? Explain your choice.

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