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Digrintaki Danae (Med) EFL Teacher 26ο GEL of Athens (Marasleio) September 2013 Σελίδα 1 από 22



Art and Inquiry: Museum Teaching


Strategies for Your Classroom Introduction to Inquiry |


Why Engage in Inquiry Around Art? Close Looking and Open-Ended Inquiry

5 - 6

Multimodal Activities as Inquiry

7 - 8

Putting It All Together |


Connections to Curriculum Examples of Themes

10 - 11

A Museum Education Project

12 - 18


19 - 21

Related Readings


No part of this publication may be reproduced in any form -- except for teaching purposes in Greek State Schools with prior acknowledgement of the author/s. _________________________________________ Απαγορεύεται η αναδημοσίευση και γενικά η αναπαραγωγή του παρόντος έργου με οποιονδήποτε τρόπο -- εκτός από τη χρήση του για εκπαιδευτικούς λόγους στα Ελληνικά Δημόσια Σχολεία μετά από προηγούμενη αναφορά στον συγγραφέα ή τους συγγραφείς

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Art and Inquiry: Museum Teaching Strategies for your Classroom Museum Education integrates works of art into a classroom by using inquiry-based teaching methods commonly used in museum settings. It creates








integrated into a wide variety of curricula. It explores strategies that emphasize literacy, speaking and listening, critical thinking skills and connect across disciplines.

Interior with a Young Girl (Girl Reading) Henri Matisse (French, 1869–1954) 1906. Oil on canvas, 28 5/8 x 23 1/2" (72.7 x 59.7 cm)

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Introduction to Inquiry | Why Engage in Inquiry around Art? Through inquiry around art students develop 

Observational skills: practice interpreting visual information.





Analytical skills: experience in contemplating information, facts and opinions in order to make informed interpretations.

Individual and group communication skills: practice at articulating one’s ideas and opinions and learning to listen and respond to those of others.

On top of all these skills there’s also a huge amount of content knowledge that students can gain through this approach, both about artists, their process but also about the context of the works of art themselves and their place in a larger historical narrative.

The Starry Night. Vincent Van Gogh, 1889. Oil on canvas

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Close Looking and Open-Ended Inquiry Give students time to observe the artwork in silence or in groups without any kind of prompting from the side of the teacher. The more time they look, the more comfortable they will be in sharing their ideas. Having students move in relationship to the object can allow them to observe new or different details that they did not see before. The next step in the inquiry process is to get a discussion started grounded in students’ observations through the use of divergent or openended questions. These invite multiple responses and require close looking and critical thinking. Questions that are too specific, only allow for one quick response and they are what we call convergent or yes/no questions. Examples are: Divergent/Open-ended questions: How would you describe this color? What might the subject be thinking? Convergent/Yes/no questions: What color is this? What is the subject thinking in this picture? Use wait time and follow up questions e.g. What else do you notice? What else do you see? You can also ask clarifying questions to guide students to give specific detailed descriptions. E.g. What do you see that makes you say that? Validate your students’ responses and keep them focused by restating their responses to the group. Have students back up their ideas with evidence from the artwork. Use “Turn and Talk” or “Pair Share” to get students involved in pair and group work. Use open-ended questions to support students’ observations, activate prior knowledge and encourage synthesis of understanding. Examples are: Observation Questions: What do you notice? What do you see? Prior knowledge type questions: Does this image remind you of anything in your own life? Synthesis type questions: What does this artwork tell us about the time and place it was made in? Σελίδα 5 από 22

Information is another tool teachers can use in the conversation. When relevant information that supports students’ observations is introduced in small amounts, it allows students to make connections and consider new ideas. Examples are: Title, date, artist, artist process, context or time period. Don’t give it all away up front but slowly start to layer the information in. This will leave room for the students’ interpretations and ideas in the conversation. Research the object yourself but only select the information that you think will move the conversation forward and deepen students’ understanding.

The Moon and the Earth Paul Gauguin (French, 1848–1903) 1893. Oil on burlap, 45 x 24 1/2" (114.3 x 62.2 cm)

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Multimodal Activities as Inquiry These activities include many types of learners that do not feel comfortable in group discussions, but welcome the chance to draw or write about a work of art. They are just another way to foster close looking, introduce ideas and develop critical thinking skills. They offer another chance for students to connect and contribute individually and also in groups, depending on how they are structured. Activities are also fun and spark creativity and imagination which is just as important to students’ learning. Writing activities as a tool allow students to be creative and at the same time practice a critical skill that they need in school and in life. For example, students brainstorm and generate a list of descriptive words, then choose and form sentences, write a review or a wall label for a work of art. For younger kids, sensory activities spark their imagination and do not require advanced writing skills. They engage their senses by inviting them into the work of art. You can start with having them look closely and talk about what they see. Next, prompt them to imagine what it would be like to be physically in the environment depicted in the work of art. (They may hear voices, sounds etc). You can add on to or, combine this type of activity with a writing extension by asking your students to write a first person narrative or dialogue from the perspective of a character in artwork, or write a postcard to a friend about the place depicted in the work of art. A thought bubble exercise could help guide your students: What might the subject of the painting be thinking? Another option is to combine a sensory experience with drawing by asking students to make a drawing of what happened before or after the events that are occurring in the work of art that they are looking at. Drawing is a great way to get students engaged. There are many different types of drawing activities that teachers can use depending on what their goals are. They can design drawing activities that help students record details of an artwork: the goal of this type of activity is to gather visual information rather than create a perfect finished Σελίδα 7 από 22

drawing. Teachers can also develop drawing exercises that are ways for students to analyze the form of three-dimensional objects, which are often very complex visually. Drawing can be used in many different ways for close looking, deep analysis and also for giving students time to engage their imagination and creativity. Movement exercises are a great way to make students look closely and contribute their ideas. You can have students take on the pose or gesture of figures in a work of art, or have them create a soundscape based on an artwork. Teaching Tip! Always test your activities to be sure the directions are clear and developmentally appropriate.

Good activities: 

meet your goals

encourage close looking

provide alternative entry points

deepen understanding.

Untitled Hippolyte Blancard (French, 1844–1924) 1889. Platinum print, 8 15/16 x 6 1/8" (22.7 x 15.6 cm) Σελίδα 8 από 22

Putting It All Together | Connections to Curriculum The issue is how to make connections between artworks and classroom content in the structure of a lesson or unit of study. To help guide the teachers’ thinking and choose among all possibilities they could start with a series of questions: -What big ideas do I want students to learn and explore through works of art? What types of objects or information will I need and how will I frame them for the students? The way we can approach this process is by teaching with a specific theme. A good theme : 

is a broad concept that can be explored in depth and on many levels

is a universal lens through which to view artworks

is visually evident in the works of art

is relevant to students’ lives and classroom content

provokes deep thought and critical thinking

can be refined and focused to a topic or essential question.

Once you have your established theme and topic, you can scaffold questions, information and activities to help support your students’ exploration.

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Examples of Themes Theme: Everyday Objects, Topic: Examine everyday objects used or depicted in works of art, Activity: Students will compare and contrast art objects, exploring form and function.

Object Meret Oppenheim (Swiss, 1913–1985)1936. Fur-covered cup, saucer, and spoon, Cup 4 3/8" (10.9 cm) in diameter; saucer 9 3/8" (23.7 cm) in diameter; spoon 8" (20.2 cm) long, overall height 2 7/8" (7.3 cm)

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Theme: Narrative in Art, Topic: Discover visual stories in works of art, Activity: Students will explore the ways artists depict characters and events in works of art.

Drowning Girl Roy Lichtenstein (American, 1923–1997) 1963. Oil and synthetic polymer paint on canvas, 67 5/8 x 66 3/4" (171.6 x 169.5 cm).

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A Museum Education Project Your assignment is to select an artwork that you would like to use as the starting point for an inquiry based lesson in your classroom. Format: Please provide the following information in the order that it is presented below: 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7.

Subject Area Intended grade level range Artwork Selection Artwork Title Artist Date Materials

1. Teaching English as a foreign language. 2. Upper-Intermediate level. 3.

4. Guernica. 5. Pablo Picasso. Σελίδα 12 από 22

6. 1937 7. Oil on canvas.

Theme/Connection to Curriculum: Briefly describe the theme or connection to the curriculum.

- Theme of war; the bombing of Guernica town during the Spanish Civil war. The painting is a perpetual reminder of the tragedies of war, an antiwar symbol and an embodiment of peace - Interdisciplinary connection of English language teaching (speaking, writing, collaborative, artistic, computational and social skills) and History (20th century wars). Include three open-ended questions related to the artwork in the sequence they would be presented.

1) What do you know about this painting? What is familiar? What is unfamiliar? 2) List words or ideas that come to mind when you look at this painting. Why does this painting make you think about these words? 3) What questions would you like to ask about this painting? Can you guess at the answers to any of them? Include 3 bullet points of information about the artwork that is related to the theme/curriculum connection. 


Guernica is a painting by Pablo Picasso. It was created in response to the bombing of Guernica, a Basque Country village in northern Spain, by German and Italian warplanes at the behest of the Spanish Nationalist forces on 26 April 1937 during the Spanish Civil War. Guernica shows the tragedies of war and the suffering it inflicts upon individuals, particularly innocent civilians. This work has gained a monumental status, becoming a perpetual reminder of the tragedies of war, an anti-war symbol, and an embodiment of peace. Upon Σελίδα 13 από 22

completion, Guernica was displayed around the world in a brief tour, becoming famous and widely acclaimed. This tour helped bring the Spanish Civil War to the world's attention. Although mention is frequently made of the painting's "return" to Spain, this is not in fact correct. Guernica was painted in Paris, where it was first exhibited, before being placed in the care of the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), as it was Picasso's expressed desire that the painting should not be delivered to Spain until liberty and democracy had been re-established in the country. On its arrival in Spain, in September 1981, it was first displayed behind bomb-and bullet-proof glass screens at the Casón del Buen Retiro in Madrid in time to celebrate the centenary of Picasso's birth, October 24. The exhibition was visited by almost a million people in the first year. Guernica was moved to its current permanent location in a purpose-built gallery at the Museo Reina Sofía in 1992. 

The painting

Guernica shows suffering people, animals, and buildings wrenched by violence and chaos. The overall scene is within a room where, at an open end on the left, a wide-eyed bull stands over a woman grieving over a dead child in her arms. The centre is occupied by a horse falling in agony as it had just been run through by a spear or javelin. The large gaping wound in the horse's side is a major focus of the painting. Two "hidden" images formed by the horse appear in Guernica: A human skull overlays the horse's body. A bull appears to gore the horse from underneath. The bull's head is formed mainly by the horse's entire front leg which has the knee on the ground. The leg's knee cap forms the head's nose. A horn appears within the horse's breast. The bull's tail forms the image of a flame with smoke rising from it, seemingly appearing in a window created by the lighter shade of gray surrounding it. Under the horse is a dead, apparently dismembered soldier; his hand on a severed arm still grasps a shattered sword from which a flower grows. On the open palm of the dead soldier is a stigma, a symbol of martyrdom derived from the stigmata of Christ. Σελίδα 14 από 22

A light bulb blazes in the shape of an evil eye over the suffering horse's head (the bare bulb of the torturer's cell). Picasso's intended symbolism in regards to this object is related to the Spanish word for lightbulb; "bombilla", which also means "bomb" in Spanish. To the upper right of the horse, a frightened female figure, who seems to be witnessing the scenes before her, appears to have floated into the room through a window. Her arm, also floating in, carries a flame-lit lamp. The lamp is positioned very close to the bulb, and is a symbol of hope, clashing with the lightbulb. From the right, an awe-struck woman staggers towards the center below the floating female figure. She looks up blankly into the blazing light bulb. Daggers that suggest screaming replace the tongues of the bull, grieving woman, and horse. A dove, holding an olive branch is scribed on the wall behind the bull. Part of its body comprises a crack in the wall through which bright light (hope, or the outside world) can be seen. On the far right, a figure with arms raised in terror is entrapped by fire from above and below. The right hand of the man suggests the shape of an airplane. A dark wall with an open door defines the right end of the mural.

Symbolism and interpretations

Interpretations of Guernica vary widely and contradict one another. This extends, for example, to the mural's two dominant elements: the bull and the horse. Art historian Patricia Failing said, "The bull and the horse are important characters in Spanish culture. Picasso himself certainly used these characters to play many different roles over time. This has made the task of interpreting the specific meaning of the bull and the horse very tough. Their relationship is a kind of ballet that was conceived in a variety of ways throughout Picasso's career." When pressed to explain them in Guernica, Picasso said, Σελίδα 15 από 22

...this bull is a bull and this horse is a horse... If you give a meaning to certain things in my paintings it may be very true, but it is not my idea to give this meaning. What ideas and conclusions you have got I obtained too, but instinctively, unconsciously. I make the painting for the painting. I paint the objects for what they are. In "The Dream and Lie of Franco," a series of narrative sketches also created for the World's Fair, Franco is depicted as a monster that first devours his own horse and later does battle with an angry bull. Work on these illustrations began before the bombing of Guernica, and four additional panels were added, three of which relate directly to the Guernica mural. Picasso said as he worked on the mural: "The Spanish struggle is the fight of reaction against the people, against freedom. My whole life as an artist has been nothing more than a continuous struggle against reaction and the death of art. How could anybody think for a moment that I could be in agreement with reaction and death? ... In the panel on which I am working, which I shall call Guernica, and in all my recent works of art, I clearly express my abhorrence of the military caste which has sunk Spain in an ocean of pain and death." However, according to scholar Beverly Ray the following list of interpretations reflects the general consensus of historians: The shape and posture of the bodies express protest. Picasso uses black, white, and grey paint to set a somber mood and express pain and chaos. Flaming buildings and crumbling walls not only express the destruction of Guernica, but reflect the destructive power of civil war. The newspaper print used in the painting reflects how Picasso learned of the massacre. The light bulb in the painting represents the sun. The broken sword near the bottom of the painting symbolizes the defeat of the people at the hand of their tormentors. (Berger 1980; Chipp 1988) In drawing attention to a number of preliminary studies, the so-called primary project, that show an atelier installation incorporating the central triangular shape which reappears in the final version of Guernica, Becht-Jördens and Wehmeier interpret the painting as a self-referential composition in the tradition of atelier paintings such as Las Σελίδα 16 από 22

Meninas by Diego Velázquez. In his chef d'oeuvre, Picasso seems to be trying to define his role and his power as an artist in the face of political power and violence. But far from being a mere political painting, Guernica should be seen as Picasso’s comment on what art can actually contribute towards the self-assertion that liberates every human being and protects the individual against overwhelming forces such as political crime, war, and death. Include an activity (multi-modal approach) for this artwork and include the following: 1.

Brief description of activity: What will the students do? (i.e writing, drawing, movement) 2. Directions: How will you introduce this activity and what directions will you give your students? 3. Goals: What are your goals for including the activity in the conversation? 1.

a ) Exploring Perspectives through Photography - creating a collage. 2. Directions: a) Students will explore the idea of multiple perspectives by taking pictures of the same subject from different angles. Then they will print out their images, cut the images up and paste them onto a separate sheet of paper, creating a single twodimensional collage that depicts the subject from multiple viewpoints at once. Once they have a final collage, they will create a title for their piece and write a short caption that explains their artistic intention. Alternatively, they could create their collage using the digital tool Glogster, where they can put except for their synthesis of photos, music, videos and more to express what they care about, ideas, emotions etc; with Glog tools they can rotate, resize, add effects and animation. Another digital tool they could use is Thinglink, where they could insert comments, photos, videos etc in their creation, as pop ups. 3. a) Goals: Through this activity they will explore into creativity as they will make their own piece of art and at the same time practice their artistic and computational skills. 1.

b) Artistic Exchange with a Friend- writing a letter. Σελίδα 17 από 22

2 b) Directions: Students will explore the spirit of Picasso and Cubism in general by writing a letter or e-mail to a friend about their new artwork. The letter should describe what the work looks like, what message it conveys, and what process they used in creating it. Some prompts to get them started would be: Dear _______, Let me tell you about my latest artwork, TITLE. I got started first by… When I was making this artwork, I was thinking/expressing… When I got stuck I… I decided it was finished when… or I would still like to do… Do you have any suggestions or feedback for me? Finally they would give their letter to a schoolmate. Their partner should respond with a letter. Finally students would talk about what insights they have gained from their friend’s comments and suggestions. Through this exchange, they can collaborate on a joint work or project later. Alternatively, they could upload their texts using social media like Facebook and exchange their opinions in chatrooms,Twitter etc. 3 b) Goals: Through this activity they will develop their writing, speaking, collaborative computational, social skills.

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Resources Worksheet: Questions about Art 1. Describe the object. Think about line, color, texture, pattern, and shape. Can you figure out what it is made of, or how it was made? 2. What do you know about this object? What is familiar? What is unfamiliar? 3. List words or ideas that come to mind when you look at this object. Why does this object make you think about these words? 4. What associations can you make from it? Why? 5. What questions would you like to ask about this object? Can you guess at the answers to any of them? 6. In one sentence, describe the most interesting thing about this object.

Web Resources A selection of links to websites about art and artists, and resources for your classroom:

MoMaLearning Site:

Google Art Project: High resolution images from participating museums and cutting edge technology offer close up viewing and virtual tours.

Flickr: Flickr is an image and video hosting website, web services suite, and online community platform. Check out Flickr Commons where museums and archives post images released under a "no known restrictions" license. Σελίδα 19 από 22

Participants include the Library of Congress, George Eastman House, the Brooklyn Museum, and the Smithsonian Institution.

Getty Museum: The Getty Museum’s resources for the classroom. ml

Guggenheim Museum: The Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum’s online arts curriculum with downloadable images and information.

Metropolitan Museum of Art Timeline of Art History: The Metropolitan Museum of Art's Timeline of Art History, with extensive information about art historical periods around the world.

Art21: Biographies, interviews, art, and links to web resources related to


PBS Art:21 television series about contemporary artists.

Artbabble: Video resources from participating art museums and organizations, hosted by the Indianapolis Museum of Art.

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Artcyclopedia Artcyclopedia is an index of online museums and image archives with links to 2,900 museum and gallery sites.

Artlex: A dictionary of art and visual culture, including definitions of art terms, images, quotations, and cross-references.

ArtsConnectEd: Resources for the combined collections of the Minneapolis Institute


Arts and theWalker Art Center. Use the Art Finder and Art Collector to explore and customize images, texts, audio, and video.

Pinterest Pinterest is a virtual pinboard —a content sharing site that allows members to "pin" images, videos, and other objects to

their pinboard.

The site also includes standard social networking features.

Smarthistory is an open, not-for-profit, art history textbook that uses multimedia to deliver unscripted conversations between art historians about the history of art.

Blogs Σελίδα 21 από 22

Related Readings artinquiry-artinquiry-Hennigar Shuh, John_Teaching Yourself to Teach With Objects copy.pdf

artinquiry-Creating_Classrooms_We_Need_8_Ways_Into_Inquiry_Learning copy.pdf

artinquiry-Inquiry_Learning_Vs_Standardized_Content_Can_They_Coexist copy.pdf


artinquiry-Web Resources.pdf

artinquiry-Art & Inquiry Bibliography.pdf


artinquiry-Hubard, Olga_Activities in the Art Museum copy.pdf

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Museum education (1)  
Museum education (1)