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Activities adaptable to multiple grade levels

Five senses descriptions

Art engages our five senses, telling us about how something looks, feels, tastes, smells, and sounds. Choose a work of art that enlivens your senses. While looking at the work in small groups or individually, write about how your senses would respond to this work of art if it came to life. These descriptions can be used as a brainstorming activity for further writing.

Alternative: Write a detailed description about a work of art for someone who cannot see/hear/smell, relaying as many details as possible to make the object come alive for them.

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Back-to-back describe and draw

For this activity, two students sit back-to-back. One person (the describer) looks at a work of art and describes it to the other person (the listener), who cannot see it. While listening to the describer, the listener draws what they imagine the image to look like. The describer cannot look at the listener’s drawing until it is finished. Afterward, discuss the experience. What words were most helpful? What was challenging? Switch roles and repeat the exercise with a new work of art.

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Alternative: One student describes the pose of a person in a work of art and the other student must get into this pose.

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