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Pictures and Words (Grade 3)

About the Program

Pictures and Words is a grant-funded program that provides participating classes with a pre- and post-visit outreach lesson at their school and a field trip and busing to the Barnes Foundation.

During their visit to the Barnes, students learn to read paintings by making claims about the setting, characters, and main idea represented in the artist’s work, then participate in a dance workshop where stories are communicated through movement and music. Students learn to make inferences by seeing how artists use color, line, and shape to convey a story. This art program integrates English Language Arts standards by encouraging students to build literacy skills through identifying stories in works of art. Pictures and Words includes lesson plans teachers may use before and after the program.

Pre-K–12 Program Goals:

  • To help students and teachers of all backgrounds feel comfortable and confident in a museum setting.
  • To give students and teachers the basic tools for “reading” works of art and for thinking critically about the image-saturated world around them.
  • To help students and teachers of all backgrounds find relevance in our collection.
  • To support students’ academic growth by aligning lessons with curricular standards and modeling arts integration for teachers and providing resources for teachers.

By the end of Pictures and Words, students will be able to:

  • Understand how art tells a story and demonstrate critical-thinking skills by making inferences about artworks to support their opinions.
  • Describe the story of a painting by identifying the character, setting, and main event, thus using an artwork as text.
  • Identify, through strong observational skills, how color, line, and shape work as key details and evidence to convey the story in a work of art.
  • Create works of art that show individual expression using a variety of artistic processes and materials.

Pictures and Words addresses the following English Language Arts and Visual Arts standards:
Pennsylvania Core Standards:

  • 1.3 Reading Literature
    CC.1.3.3.C
    Describe characters in a story and explain how their actions contribute to the sequence of events.
  • 1.4 Writing
    CC.1.4.3.M Write narratives to develop real or imagined experiences or events.
  • 1.5 Speaking and Listening
    CC.1.5.3.C
    Ask and answer questions about information from a speaker, offering appropriate detail.
    CC.1.5.3.E
    Speak in complete sentences when appropriate to task and situation in order to provide requested detail or clarification.

National Visual Arts Standards:

  • VA:Cr2.1.3a Create personally satisfying artwork using a variety of artistic processes and materials.
  • VA:Pr6.1.3a Identify and explain how and where different cultures record and illustrate stories and
    history of life through art.
  • VA:Re7.1.3a Speculate about processes an artist uses to create a work of art

New Jersey Student Learning Standards: English Language Arts:

  • RL.3.3. Describe the characters in a story (e.g., their traits, motivations, or feelings) and explain how their actions contribute to the plot.
  • NJSLSA.W3. Write narratives to develop real or imagined experiences or events using effective technique, well-chosen details, and well-structured event sequences.
  • W.3.3. Write narratives to develop real or imagined experiences or events using narrative technique, descriptive details, and clear event sequences.
  • W.3.3.A. Establish a situation and introduce a narrator and/or characters; organize an event sequence that unfolds naturally.
  • NJSLSA.SL1. Prepare for and participate effectively in a range of conversations and collaborations with diverse partners, building on others’ ideas and expressing their own clearly and persuasively.
  • NJSLSA.SL2. Integrate and evaluate information presented in diverse media and formats, including visually, quantitatively, and orally.