Writing from Art

The Lunch by Diego Velazquez

A very enjoyable activity I did recently was to provide students with a piece of art and then ask them to form in their heads an idea of what had happened just before and just after the scene they are looking at. I chose Velazquez’s ‘The Lunch’, but this can work with any pictures at all (possibly made simpler by choosing pictures which have some visible motion in them). Once a few ideas have been discussed and/or roleplay of the characters, the students can then write a short story describing the events before, during and after the picture snapshot. I prefer to keep the writing in the present tense for this activity as it drives the writing in a more dynamic direction, keeping it fluid and compelling.

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