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Compare and Connect: How do artists illustrate identity when referencing other works of art? (Ready to Go Resource)

Ready-to-go resources are short, flexible learning activities that center art as texts. In “Compare and Connect” students use a guiding question to compare works of art within the context of a shared theme and produce brief writing examples.

Wiley's Judith and Holofernes and Thomas's Three Graces

Guiding Question: How do artists illustrate identity when referencing other works of art?

Features Wiley’s Judith and Holofernes and Thomas’s Three Graces

Make your own copy! Check the slide notes for the teacher’s guide.

Total Activity Pacing: 30 min, split over 2 days

Pacing: 1 min

Grade(s): 3-5


Activity Overview:

  • In this Compare and Connect activity, students will analyze two works of art that use other artwork or Greek mythology as reference to their paintings. Students will think about the story that the artist is trying to tell. The artworks will serve as inspiration for an ELA writing activity where students will be able to choose an artwork, song, book, or movie that they find important and impacts them.
  • In Day One: Discuss, students will discuss the two paintings. Students will share what they notice, specifically with what is happening with the people, their poses, and their objects. After learning about the background story and reference imagery, students will explore together the changes the artists made, how the artist referenced the imagery, and how artists illustrated identity in their work.
  • In Day Two: Write, students will write about a book, movie, artwork, or song that they love and find really important. They will write why they think it is important and share how it is a part of their life.