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Compare and Connect: How does our home shape our identity? (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. The activities are presented in google slide decks with teaching notes to make classroom implementation easy.

Dunning's Still Life and Essaydi's Silence of Thought #2

Guiding Question: How does our home shape our identity?

Featuring Robert Spear Dunning’s Still Life of Fruit, Honeycomb, and Knives and Lalla Essaydi’s Silence of Thought #2

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


Total Activity Pacing: 30 min

Pacing: 1 min

Grade(s): 3-5


Activity Overview:

  • In this Compare and Connect activity, students will view two artworks that show different subjects on the theme of home. One artwork is a painting of a food still life while the other is a photograph of a person in what looks like a bedroom (or at minimum a room in her home). Students will discuss how different elements of home shape our identities. The artworks will inspire an ELA writing assignment where students write a narrative about the person who might live in the home depicted in one of the artworks. 
  • In Day One: Discuss, students will discuss what they notice in the artwork and how that might connect to home. Students will discuss how the subject matter (food and a bedroom) might shape our identity –both in a positive and/or negative way. Students can share their thoughts and opinions in small groups or partner shares.
  • In Day Two: Write, students will choose one of the artworks and write a narrative about who lives in the home illustrated in the artwork.