Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Norman Rockwell - Activity 6 - Character Studies

This is part of the Norman Rockwell integration blog series. To gain access to all the blogs in this series, click the tag “Norman Rockwell”.
You are encouraged to try out these activities and to comment on the blogs, activities and ideas. You might even find that you can share other ways to integrate Rockwell into what you do! Your voice and ideas matter!

Muse Away!

ACTIVITY – Character Studies
Norman Rockwell paintings are perfect for character studies. Each painting has at least one character that draws you into their story with their position, expression and action. With the right prompts, you can talk about one character for quite some time.


1. Have students look closely at the painting and allow for some time for first impressions and conversations about the characters and the situation.

2. Ask students to take a closer look at the painting and state the prompt that allows them to find details in the character. For example:
• What do you know about this situation by looking at the painting?
• What can you conclude from the expression on this character’s face?
• What can you tell about the character by his/her body language?
• What might this character be saying?
• What might this character be thinking?
• What would be a good name for this character? Why?

3. Ask students to complete the sentence starters from the worksheet to deepen their ideas of
the characters

4. After a short introduction to the activity, invite students to work in small groups or on their own with a new painting. You may want students to complete the WORKSHEET.
Worksheet link:

Implementation Ideas: (review)
• Have a copy of a painting for each student. (They do not have to be the same.)
• Give students a copy to use in small groups.
• Place copies of paintings around the room and have students do the activity while traveling from piece to piece in an “around the world” format.
• Do a shared lesson or activity with your whole class or with a small group.
• Create a center in your room where students can visit and complete the activity.

Extensions and Variations:
• Ask students to practice their quote writing skills by having students write a monologue of what the character is saying or a dialogue between characters in the painting.
• Practice point of view by asking students to write a short story about the situation in the painting from the character’s point of view.
• After students have completed the worksheet, ask them to put the character into a new situation or story. You could put the character into another NR painting. Ask students to elaborate on the new situation or story with the character they are studying.

Next Blog (due out on Thursday, January 28, 2010) – Activity 8 - Cause and Effect

Make a Comment - We want to hear from you. What do you think of this activity? Any extension or variation ideas? Comments are welcomed and encouraged.

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