Derek Whitefield Derek Whitefield

Teaching Practice 7 (TP7)
Upper-Intermediate level


This lessons intends to practice fluency in speaking and promote quality discussion on the topic of art. The idea is to find out how much the students know about art, how much interest or experience they have in the subject, and to talk about its many forms and expressions. Then we want to develop a discussion in different interaction patterns so as to get an overview what our impressions of art are.


Abc Handout
Abc paper slips with artists' names
Abc pictures of great works of art

Main Aims

  • Our main aim in this lesson is to practice fluency skills in speaking about art. This is a broad topic and one on which everyone should have some kind of opinion. Those different opinions and perspectives will be interesting to listen to and I think should yield some quality conversations.

Subsidiary Aims

  • Our secondary aim will be vocabulary. Although the book that we're using doesn't necessarily prescribe any specific art-related vocabulary for this part, we're going to be learning a number of new words about art in general. We will also be learning some new phrases that people would use when they're looking at and critiquing art.


What is art? (5-6 minutes) • To explore the various preconceived notions and come to a workable consensus on what art is before we delve into it

Harping back to Sam's last lesson about beauty, we'll approach the topic of art as something that is defined by the beholder. And so our question will be, as we break into groups of three that we should try to define what art is. I'll show a painting which everyone will clearly view as art, and then I'll haphazardly scribble something else on the board. I'll ask if they're both art. I'll ask them to talk about this in their groups and decide on their definition of what art is, and then we'll share each group's definition.

Intro to Visual art (8-10 minutes) • To get the students to look at art, get the visual learners more involved give them a sense of some different types of paintings

I'll put ten different great paintings on the board. We'll break into 3 groups and I'll give each group a set of names and titles for the paintings. The groups will have to talk to each other and decide which ones belong to which picture. I'll tell each group how many they've gotten wrong so that they can change them around. Then we'll check the answers and make sure everyone knows which paintings are which.

Art Critic (10-12 minutes) • To speak about each of the ten works of art in pairs and write a sentence that best describes your feelings about each piece of art

After everyone knows the names and artists for each painting, I'll hand a critique sheet out to everyone and break them into pairs. Each pair will now have time to decide what sentence they're going to write as a critique for each painting. I'll write a few 'critic-ish phrases" that one might hear at an art gallery, like : "It's a load of rubbish." "It's a masterpiece." "A child could make that." "It's priceless." The students will pass the pictures around to each pair to look at closely and decide together. The idea is that if there is debate on what to say, they'll talk it over and try to convince the other. I'll ask for feedback from pairs about certain paintings if we don't have time for them all.

Visual and Perfroming arts (6-8 minutes) • To familiarize students with different forms of art/Vocabulary

Students will now get into groups of 4 or so. I'll write two words on the board: Visual Arts and Performing arts I'll get each group to make a list of as many kinds of art that they can put into the two categories. I'll give them about two minutes. Hopefully we'll get a really good mix of examples like: drama, modern dance, sculptor, fashion design, opera, etc..I'll give them some hints if they're not getting the idea. When they're done, I'll ask them to read some of the words on their lists and we'll discuss which ones are popular in this country and which people have gone to see, etc. If there's time, I wouldn't mind having some students come up and do some miming out of the actions for the students to guess the art form they chose to represent...again, if I think there will be time.

Art trivia game (10-12 minutes) • To have fun, perhaps reinforce some vocabulary, and wrap up out lesson nicely

Inspired by 'Who wants to be a Milionaire', we'll have a small easy art trivia show. One person from a group will come up, answer questions. They get one chance to ask for help from their group...I'll just read them A,B,C,D style from a list. If a team gets 5 right, they win...something. Good way to end of class.

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