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Journaling the Journey

Writing a Travel Article About the Lyme Art Colony

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Grades
5-8

Time
over the course of a week

Grouping
whole class, small groups, individual

Materials
copies of travel excerpt from website, access to Museum’s website, writing paper, craft supplies

Description

The Lyme Art Colony was a group of artists who were drawn to Old Lyme, Connecticut, as early as 1900. They stayed at the Griswold boardinghouse that was owned and operated by Florence Griswold. These artists spent their days painting en plein air, or out-of-doors, to capture the natural beauty of the area. From the very beginning, these artists began to physically transform the boardinghouse by painting scenes on the doors and wall panels of the house – a tradition that was common in the country inns the artists had visited in Europe. Soon, the news of the boardinghouse for artists spread and Old Lyme became known as a place to visit, even for non-boarding tourists on vacation.

This lesson introduces students to the Lyme Art Colony by having them write a travel article in the voice of a travel writer in 1910. Students use the Museum’s on-line resources to have a virtual “visit” to the Lyme Art Colony before writing about their experiences. This assignment mirrors the many articles that were written about the art colony by writers who visited. The Lyme Art Colony was often featured in articles in newspapers and magazines as well as popular travel guides of the times.

Objectives

To learn the history of the Lyme Art Colony

To read an excerpt from a historic travel writer

To use the Museum’s website as a source of information

To imagine visiting the 1910 artist colony

To view historic photographs and paintings

To write an informative, persuasive, and descriptive well-crafted essay

 

Curriculum Connections

 

Social Studies educational experiences in Grades 5-8 will ensure that students

Be active learners at cultural institutions such as museums and historical exhibitions

Display empathy for people who have lived in the past

Describe relationships between historical subject matter and other subjects they study, current issues, and personal concerns

Visual Art educational experiences in Grades 5-8 will ensure that students

Know and compare the characteristics and purposes of works of art representing various cultures, historical periods and artists

Describe and place a variety of specific significant art objects by artist, style and historical and cultural context

Analyze, describe and demonstrate how factors of time and place (such as climate, natural resources, ideas and technology) influence visual characteristics that give meaning and value to a work of art.

Language Arts educational experiences in Grades 5-8 will ensure that students

Determine purpose, point of view and audience, then use the appropriate features of persuasive, narrative, expository, and poetic writing to achieve desired results

Plan, organize, create and revise visual, written and oral pieces at a level of elaboration appropriate for middle school

Identify and use primary and secondary sources to paraphrase, elaborate on, and integrate information into a final product, e.g., I-Search paper, historical fiction, newsarticle, research paper, documentary

Use and examine the effectiveness of multiple ways of generating ideas (brainstorming, listing, writing, talking, webbing, drawing), then compose, revise, edit, and present a variety of products

Analyze, describe and demonstrate how factors of time and place (such as climate, natural resources, ideas and technology) influence visual characteristics that give meaning and value to a work of art

The above goals align with this lesson and were selected from The Connecticut Framework: K-12 Curricular Goals and Standards (adopted in March 1998, published by the Connecticut State Department of Education, Division of Teaching and Learning).  

Inclusion Activity (Engaging Prior Knowledge)

Begin the lesson with an inclusion event that gets the students into unexpected pairs. See Enjoying a Little Tete-A-Tete Have the pairs discuss one of the following questions read aloud by the teacher. After a minute of discussion passes, have the students change partners and continue with next question. Repeat until all questions have been discussed

Student Grouping Activities

Musical Pairs

Use a portable CD player or simple instrument to play music/sound. Explain to the students that when the music/sound starts they are to walk around the room silently in a safe but random pattern (nodding friendly hellos to their fellow students). When the music stops, the students should pair up with the nearest person to discuss the question read aloud. After each question is discussed, start the music again. Repeat until all three questions have been discussed.

A Circle of Friends

Ask your students to get into a circle facing the center. Ask every other student to step into the circle facing out. Have the inner circle rotate to the right until they are face to face with a partner. Ask the first question. After the question is discussed, have the outer circle move three or four people to the right to line up with a new partner. After the question is discussed, have both the inner circle and outer circle move three to four people to the right to line up with a final partner.

Enjoying a Little Tete-A-Tete

The term “tete-a-tete” refers to a private conversation between two people (as well as a short sofa intended to accommodate two persons). Ask your students to put their chairs into pairs (side by side, but facing in opposite directions) and take a seat. After each question is discussed, have students move to another seat and partner up with a new person.

Find Two Like You

Ask your students to find two other students who match a certain criterion like: Find two other students with your hair color; or Find two other students with birthdays close to yours; or Find two other students who have same kinds of pets; or Find two other students who like your favorite ice cream flavor. Students usually begin to call out their answers and cluster with those whose answers match. Once they have three people, their group is complete. Teachers may have to make a cluster of non-matching students.

Once the students are in their pairs or trios, have them discuss one of the following questions read aloud by the teacher. After a minute of discussion passes, remix the groups and continue with next question. Repeat until all questions have been discussed.

Discussion Questions

What is your favorite indoor rainy day activity or game?

What is the difference between a drawing and a cartoon?

What did people do for fun before television was invented?

  • Lyme if full of painters and pictures. You find painters in force when the laurel is in bloom or when the trees are not too green, and the place to find many of them is at ‘Miss Florence’s.’ We were doubly fortunate in being in Lyme in early June, and in finding accommodations at her house. It is around ‘Miss Florence’s’ house that most of the art life centers, or has originated. Every painter who has ever been to Lyme knows Miss Florence Griswold. She takes good care of them, is interested in their work, and they find there that intangible thing, an art atmosphere.

    An Excerpt from Touring New England on the Trail of the Yankee by Clara Walker Whiteside

Instructions

Please share your suggestions for making the lesson better. Let the Museum know how this lesson worked for you and your students by sending your comments and suggestions to david@flogris.org. Educators are encouraged to submit copies of final products and/or digital images to be shared on our website.

1. Begin by reading aloud The Story of Miss Florence and the Lyme Art Colony to introduce students to the Lyme Art Colony

2. Introduce the assignment of writing a short description of an imaginary visit to the Lyme Art Colony as a travel writer in 1910. Tell the students that they will “visit” the art colony via their computer by going to The Fox Chase section of the Museum’s on-line learning site. After their virtual visit, they will compose an article about the Lyme Art Colony to be published in a 1910 travel book, magazine, or newspaper (their decision). Their description should make the reader want to visit the Lyme Art Colony.

3. Divide the class into working groups of three or four and distribute a copy of the following excerpt from a travel guide published in 1926. Ask the groups to read and discuss the excerpt. What questions do they have now? What more would they like to know? What did the writer make them think about? Do they have any pictures in their heads after reading the piece? How would they finish the piece? Have the groups report out their discussion.

5. The author of the excerpt visited the Lyme Art Colony while traveling from Greenwich, Connecticut to Ogunquit, Maine. Encourage your students to imagine their route. Where did they come from and where are they going. Their travel article should both be enjoyable and informative.

6. During the draft stage, have students occasionally gather in their groups to share their research, ideas, and writing. Encourage students to make suggestions to enhance each other’s writing.

7. For the final presentation, encourage students to mock up a travel book, magazine or newspaper and illustrate their article by printing out an image from the Museum’s website or drawing their own. Post the final projects in a place where other students can read their travel articles.

4. In preparation for the students to write their own version of a travel article about the Lyme Art Colony, have them use a computer to “visit” the boardinghouse for artists by interacting with The Fox Chase. Review with the students of the 5 W’s of journalism (what, where, who, why, and when) to keep them on track.

The following suggestions of where to look on-line might help speed up their discovery process.

 

THE WHAT
The Lyme Art Colony

Where on The Fox Chase to find information:

School of Lyme

 

THE WHERE
Old Lyme, Connecticut

Where on The Fox Chase to find information:

The Griswold House
The Village of Old Lyme
The Lyme Landscape

 

THE WHO
Miss Florence and the Artists of Old Lyme

Where on The Fox Chase to find information:

Who’s Who in the Boardinghouse from The Griswold House
Henry Ward Ranger
Childe Hassam

 

THE WHY
To create landscape paintings en plein air

Where on The Fox Chase to find information:

The Cow
Painting Tools
Tonalism from the Henry Ward Ranger
American Impressionism from the Childe Hassam

 

THE WHEN
1910 (the height of the art colony)

Where on The Fox Chase to find information:

Timeline

A Time for Reflection

Have students reflect on the following questions in their journals.

Content/Thinking

What part of your travel essay would convince a person to visit the Lyme Art Colony?

Which on-line image did you find more interesting than the others? What made that image have such an impact?

Social

How did you decide what to write about in your travel essay?

Was your group helpful in making your travel essay better?

Personal

If you could time travel, would you want to visit the real Lyme Art Colony? Why or why not?

Do you think you would like to be a travel writer when you grow up? Why or why not?

 

Appreciations

Before concluding the lesson, be sure to invite appreciations from the group (i.e. thank group partners for good brainstorming or suggestions for better writing).

 

Follow-Up Activity

Consider planning a field trip to the Museum in Old Lyme with your students. Information about a visit can be found on Plan Your Visit.

Lights! Cameras! Action!

Creating a Drama About the Lyme Art Colony

Download this Lesson as a PDF

Grades
5-8

Time
over the course of a week

Grouping
whole class, small groups, individual

Materials
access to Museum’s website, writing paper, craft supplies, video recorder, blank DVDs

Description

This lesson introduces students to the personalities of the Lyme Art Colony by having them write and perform a short scene incorporating the various characters who were a part of the Griswold boardinghouse. Students use the Museum’s on-line resources to gather information (both in words and pictures) about the people of the art colony before creating a scene that incorporates the material. A series of scenarios are included below, however, some students may wish to develop their own.

The Lyme Art Colony was a group of artists who were drawn to Old Lyme, Connecticut, as early as 1900. They stayed at the Griswold boardinghouse that was owned and operated by Florence Griswold. The house was filled with activity from May to October each year when the artists were coming and going. However, the artists were not the only people connected to the house. The house was occupied by Miss Florence’s domestic help (to clean, cook, and garden), the wives of the artists, the female art students (who were not allowed to stay at the house), the tourists, and on occasion, a VIP like President Woodrow Wilson. This cast of characters came together and helped shape an interesting chapter in Connecticut art and history.

Objectives

To learn about the personalities associated with the Lyme Art Colony

To read a short scene from a new play about a historic subject

To use the Museum’s website as a source of information

To work as a group to plot out a scene following a suggested scenario

To view historic photographs and paintings of people

To work as a group to write a scene for multiple characters using a variety of historic voices

To work as a group to perform a scene in front of the class

Curriculum Connections

 

Social Studies educational experiences in Grades 5-8 will ensure that students

Be active learners at cultural institutions such as museums and historical exhibitions

Display empathy for people who have lived in the past

Describe relationships between historical subject matter and other subjects they study, current issues, and personal concerns

Visual Art educational experiences in Grades 5-8 will ensure that students

Know and compare the characteristics and purposes of works of art representing various cultures, historical periods and artists

Describe and place a variety of specific significant art objects by artist, style and historical and cultural context

Analyze, describe and demonstrate how factors of time and place (such as climate, natural resources, ideas and technology) influence visual characteristics that give meaning and value to a work of art

Language Arts educational experiences in Grades 5-8 will ensure that students

Determine purpose, point of view and audience, then use the appropriate features of persuasive, narrative, expository, and poetic writing to achieve desired results

Plan, organize, create and revise visual, written and oral pieces at a level of elaboration appropriate for middle school

Identify and use primary and secondary sources to paraphrase, elaborate on, and integrate information into a final product, (e.g. historical fiction, news article, research paper, documentary)

Use and examine the effectiveness of multiple ways of generating ideas (brainstorming, listing, writing, talking, webbing, drawing), then compose, revise, edit, and present a variety of products

Analyze, describe and demonstrate how factors of time and place (such as climate, natural resources, ideas and technology) influence visual characteristics that give meaning and value to a work of art

The above goals align with this lesson and were selected from The Connecticut Framework: K-12 Curricular Goals and Standards (adopted in March 1998, published by the Connecticut State Department of Education, Division of Teaching and Learning).

Inclusion Activity (Engaging Prior Knowledge)

Begin the lesson with a grouping activity that places students into unique pairs or trios to discuss a series of questions designed to stimulate prior knowledge on a subject or idea related to the lesson.  Several activities that will help organize students into unexpected groupings are listed below. Of course, other methods of pairing up students may be substituted for these activities.

Student Grouping Activities

Musical Pairs

Use a portable CD player or simple instrument to play music/sound. Explain to the students that when the music/sound starts they are to walk around the room silently in a safe but random pattern (nodding friendly hellos to their fellow students). When the music stops, the students should pair up with the nearest person to discuss the question read aloud. After each question is discussed, start the music again. Repeat until all three questions have been discussed.

A Circle of Friends

Ask your students to get into a circle facing the center. Ask every other student to step into the circle facing out. Have the inner circle rotate to the right until they are face to face with a partner. Ask the first question. After the question is discussed, have the outer circle move three or four people to the right to line up with a new partner. After the question is discussed, have both the inner circle and outer circle move three to four people to the right to line up with a final partner.

Enjoying a Little Tete-A-Tete

The term “tete-a-tete” refers to a private conversation between two people (as well as a short sofa intended to accommodate two persons). Ask your students to put their chairs into pairs (side by side, but facing in opposite directions) and take a seat. After each question is discussed, have students move to another seat and partner up with a new person.

Find Two Like You

Ask your students to find two other students who match a certain criterion like: Find two other students with your hair color; or Find two other students with birthdays close to yours; or Find two other students who have same kinds of pets; or Find two other students who like your favorite ice cream flavor. Students usually begin to call out their answers and cluster with those whose answers match. Once they have three people, their group is complete. Teachers may have to make a cluster of non-matching students.

Once the students are in their pairs or trios, have them discuss one of the following questions read aloud by the teacher. After a minute of discussion passes, remix the groups and continue with next question. Repeat until all questions have been discussed.

Discussion Questions

Share a favorite line from a movie. Explain why the line is so memorable to you.

Discus how a movie is different from a stage play. In your opinion, which one is better and why?

How would your life be different if you were born 100 years ago?

Instructions

Please share your suggestions for making the lesson better. Let the Museum know how this lesson worked for you and your students by sending your comments and suggestions to david@flogris.org. Educators are encouraged to submit copies of final products and/or digital images to be shared on our website.

1. Introduce the assignment of writing a short (10-minute) dramatic scene of a day at the Griswold boardinghouse for artists in 1910. Have students use the Museum’s on-line learning site to gather background information for their scenes. They have the option of coming up with their own storyline or using one of the suggested scenarios outlined below. The final product will be their script and a performance for the class.

2. Begin by reading aloud The Story of Miss Florence and the Lyme Art Colony to introduce students to the Lyme Art Colony.

3. Divide the class into working groups of 4-5 students and distribute copies of the following excerpt from Hassam in the Garden, the one-act play commissioned by the Museum and performed in the garden in 2004. Ask the groups to read and discuss the scene. What questions do they have now? What more would they like to know?

What did the writer make them think about? Do they have any pictures in their heads after reading the piece? How would they finish the piece? Have the groups report out their discussion.

4. Have the working groups review the suggested scenarios. Ask them to select one or come up with their own idea (this will help them to begin to search the website for content). The groups should divide up the various tasks and plan what they will bring back to the working group.

5. Have students use a computer to explore The Fox Chase and In Situ: The Painted Panels. They should surf the pages looking for interesting facts and personality traits that can be incorporated into their scene. To get to know the range of characters, the students should visit Who’s Who in the Boardinghouse. Each of the suggested scenarios has links to relevant information within the on-line sites.

An Excerpt from Hassam in the Garden

by Jeffrey Benoit

WHISTLING MARY: Of course, the artists sometimes stirred up more trouble than they were worth.

BAILY: What do you mean?

WHISTLING MARY: Well, like the time they were playing catch in the dining room and tossed an orange through the window.

BAILY: Through the window?

CHILDE HASSAM: It was an accident.

BAILY: I bet Miss Florence was very upset.

WHISTLING MARY: Actually, she didn’t mind at all, said it would let in some much needed fresh air. She was like that, you know.

CHILDE HASSAM: Oh Mary, what about the ring?

WHISTLING MARY: Oh, Mr. Hassam, the story about the ring!

CHILDE HASSAM: Yes, tell Miss Baily about the ring!

WHISTLING MARY: Alright, if you insist. Well, it all happened one day when all the artists decided to go out to the aunt’s place for an afternoon swim.

CHILDE HASSAM: They were relatives of Miss Florence, who had a house down at Griswold Point.

WHISTLING MARY: Now, on this particular day, included in the bunch was the artist William Henry Howe.

CHILDE HASSAM: Who we all called Uncle.

BAILY: Was he your uncle?

CHILDE HASSAM: No, no, we just called him that.

WHISTLING MARY: Now, it just so happened that Mr. Howe, after some time swimming, had lost his ring in the surf, a ring he fancied quite a bit. Well, of course, everybody there joined in to look to see if they could help him find it – but to no avail. Now, what Mr. Howe didn’t know is that one of the artists actually did find the ring but didn’t fess up to it then and there and kept it a secret. Well, later on that evening, back here at the house, the group sat down for dinner. Now, of course, Mr. Howe, being Uncle and all, was always the one to carve at table.

CHILDE HASSAM: Always.

WHISTLING MARY: So, when the meal was brought in – which happened to be fish that night – salmon, I believe – he began slicing and serving portions to everyone there. Well, after a few moments or so, he heard a light clink against his knife. Of course, he assumed it was a bone or something, so began diggin’ in there to remove whatever it was. Well, wouldn’t you know, when he pulled out the knife and held it up, there on the very tip of it was his ring – the very one he’d lost earlier that day! Well, for a few moments, he just stared at it in disbelief while all the other artists tried their best to contain their giggles. Of course, the secret was soon let out as laughter poured out round and round the table – and in the kitchen as well! Oh, it was the funniest, I tell ya! The funniest!

(Childe Hassam and Whistling Mary laugh heartily.)

Scenarios

Scenario One

There’s been a mix up with Miss Florence’s reservations. She and her staff have to convince one messy artist who doesn’t want to give up the best bedroom to a very neat artist who reserved it and is waiting to move in. To complicate matters, the two artists refuse to speak to one another.

For information related to Scenario One, go to:

Who’s Who in the Boardinghouse from The Griswold House

Inside the House (Art Colony Bedroom) from The Griswold House

Imagine Yourself as an Artist from The Griswold House

Cluster of Artists


Scenario Two

Miss Florence is giving a tour to a rich Boston couple (who are both allergic to cats) who want to buy a painting from the center hall. They can’t decide between a work of Tonalism (which the husband likes) or American Impressionism (which the wife likes). Artists from both stylistic camps are in the hall cheering on their favorite style. Meanwhile, Miss Florence’s domestic staff are busy catching the many cats that run up and down the hall.

Scenario Three

Two artists arrive with their finished painted panels to be installed in the dining room. One painted a landscape in a Tonalist style and the other a landscape in an American Impressionistic style. Both want the empty spot next to the window buy there’s only room for one panel. Miss Florence and her domestic staff play judge and jury as the artists debate over which panel should get the spot.


Scenario Four

A freshly completed panel hangs in the dining room and three artists sit on chairs nearby. When Miss Florence and her domestic staff want to know who painted it, the artists make them guess based on the style, colors, and subject matter of the painting. In the end, it turns out to be a collaboration by all three.

For information related to Scenario Four, go to:

Who’s Who in the Boardinghouse from The Griswold House

Inside the House (Art Colony Bedroom) from The Griswold House

Imagine Yourself as an Artist from The Griswold House

The Painted Panels from The Griswold House

Childe Hassam

Henry Rankin Poore

Walter Griffin

Tonalism from Henry Ward Ranger

American Impressionism (Characteristics of American Impressionism) from Childe Hassam

Landscape with Cow by Childe Hassam, Henry Rankin Poore, and Walter Griffin

Floral Still Life by Childe Hassam

Ladies in the Woods by Walter Griffin

The Fox Chase by Henry Rankin Poore


Scenario Five

A bachelor artist who has just moved into the attic comes down to the parlor to complain about the accommodations. He interrupts a boisterous gathering of artists singing at the piano and another holding a spelling bee. An older married artist challenges him to the wiggle game and asks Miss Florence to be the judge. If the younger artist wins, he gets the good room. If he loses, he has to carry the older artists art materials down to the river and back each day.


Scenerio Six

After waiting all day for a Hartford collector to come and buy his latest painting, the artist and his wife decide to go canoeing. When the collector does arrive, two of Miss Florence’s domestics decide to pretend to be the artist and his wife in order to make the sale. Unfortunately for them, the collector asks many questions about the style, color, and subject matter of the painting. Miss Florence discovers the charade, but decides to play along. Moments later, the real husband and wife return unexpectedly.

A Time for Reflection

Have students reflect on the following questions in their own journals.

Content/Thinking

How did your scene capture the personalities of the people of the boardinghouse?

What was the most important information you included in your scene?

Social

How did your group decide who would play each part?
Was your group good at working on the scene together?

Personal

Which character in your scene did you like the best?

Do you think it would be fun to write scenes as a career? Why or why not?

 

Appreciations

Before concluding the lesson, be sure to invite appreciations from the group (i.e. thank group partners for good brainstorming or suggestions for better writing).  To help students begin making statements of appreciation, use such sentence starters as these:

I liked it when … (describe the situation)
I was amazed when . . .
I was proud when . . .

Follow-Up Activity

Consider planning a field trip to the Museum in Old Lyme with your students. Information about a visit can be found on Plan Your Visit.

What? How? Wow!

The Subject Matter and Artistic Styles of the Lyme Art Colony

Download this Lesson as a PDF

Grades
5-8

Time
over the course of a few days

Grouping
whole class, small groups, individual

Materials
access to Museum’s website, writing paper, color print out of paintings; copies of Tonalism and American Impressionism definitions.

Description

This lesson introduces students to the Lyme Art Colony by having them compare and contrast two painted panels in the Griswold boardinghouse in terms of subject matter and painting styles. Students use the Museum’s on-line resources to view key examples of the painting styles and distinguish their similarities and differences as well as to select their own painted panels. This lesson demonstrates how the artists painted the same subject matter but in a different style to achieve a different kind of reaction from the viewer.

The Lyme Art Colony was a group of artists who were drawn to Old Lyme, Connecticut, as early as 1900. They stayed at the Griswold boardinghouse that was owned and operated by Florence Griswold. The first group of artists who came were influenced by the painter Henry Ward Ranger who painted in a style known as Tonalism. The Tonalists were interested in creating subdued, poetic, and mood-filled landscapes of the New England countryside. In 1903, however, the artist Childe Hassam came to Old Lyme with a group of younger artists who were interested in painting in another style known as American Impressionism. This style, like its inspiration French Impressionism, featured bright colors and painterly, broken brushstrokes, that sought to capture the fleeting emotion, or “impression” of a scene.

Objectives

To learn the history of the Lyme Art Colony

To view paintings and determine their subject matter

To compare/contrast works of art with similar subjects

To compare/contrast works of art painted in different styles

To view historic photographs and paintings

To use the Museum’s website to read about subject matter and style

To describe both “the what” and “the how” and “the wow” when looking at a painting

To hear what other people think about works of art

To understand the use of the style terms Tonalism and American Impressionism

To describe a painted panel in terms of subject matter and artistic style

 

Curriculum Connections

 

Social Studies educational experiences in Grades 5-8 will ensure that students

Formulate historical questions based on primary and secondary sources, including documents, eyewitness accounts, letters and diaries, artifacts, real or  simulated historical sites, charts, graphs, diagrams, and written texts

Gather information from multiple sources, including archives or electronic databases, to have experience with historical sources and to appreciate the need for multiple perspectives

Interpret data in historical maps, photographs, art works and other artifacts

Be active learners at cultural institutions such as museums and historical exhibitions

Describe relationships between historical subject matter and other subjects they study, current issues, and personal concerns

 

 

Visual Art educational experiences in Grades 5-8 will ensure that students

Consider and compare the sources for subject matter, symbols and ideas in their own and others’ work

Know and compare the characteristics and purposes of works of art representing various cultures, historical periods and artists

Describe and place a variety of specific significant art objects by artist, style and historical and cultural context

Describe and analyze visual characteristics of works of art using visual art terminology

Compare a variety of individual responses to, and interpretation of, their own works of art and those from various eras and cultures

Describe their own responses to, and interpretations of, specific works of art

Reflect on and evaluate the quality and effectiveness of their own and others’ work using specific criteria (e.g. technique, formal and expressive qualities, content)

Language Arts educational experiences in Grades 5-8 will ensure that students

Determine purpose, point of view and audience, then use the appropriate features of persuasive, narrative, expository, and poetic writing to achieve desired results

Plan, organize, create and revise visual, written and oral pieces at a level of elaboration appropriate for middle school

Identify and use primary and secondary sources to paraphrase, elaborate on, and integrate information into a final product (e.g. historical fiction, news article, research paper, documentary)

Use and examine the effectiveness of multiple ways of generating ideas (brainstorming, listing, writing, talking, webbing, drawing), then compose, revise, edit, and present a variety of products

The above goals align with this lesson and were selected from The Connecticut Framework: K-12 Curricular Goals and Standards (adopted in March 1998, published by the Connecticut State Department of Education, Division of Teaching and Learning). 

Inclusion Activity (Engaging Prior Knowledge)

Begin the lesson with a Student Grouping Activity that places students into unique pairs or trios to discuss a question designed to stimulate their prior knowledge on a subject or idea related to the lesson. Several activities that will help organize students into unexpected groups are listed below. Of course, other methods of pairing up students may be substituted for these activities.

Student Grouping Activities

Musical Pairs

Use a portable CD player or simple instrument to play music/sound. Explain to the students that when the music/sound starts they are to walk around the room silently in a safe but random pattern (nodding friendly hellos to their fellow students). When the music stops, the students should pair up with the nearest person to discuss the question read aloud.  After each question is discussed, start the music again.  Repeat until all three questions have been discussed.

A Circle of Friends

Ask your students to get into a circle facing the center. Ask every other student to step into the circle facing out. Have the inner circle rotate to the right until they are face to face with a partner.  Ask the first question. After the question is discussed, have the outer circle move three or four people to the right to line up with a new partner. After the question is discussed, have both the inner circle and outer circle move three to four people to the right to line up with a final partner.

Enjoying a Little Tete-A-Tete

The term “tete-a-tete” refers to a private conversation between two people (as well as a short sofa intended to accommodate two persons). Ask your students to put their chairs into pairs (side by side, but facing in opposite directions) and take a seat.  After each question is discussed, have students move to another seat and partner up with a new person.

Find Two Like You

Ask your students to find two other students who match a certain criterion like: Find two other students with your hair color; or Find two other students with birthdays close to yours; or Find two other students who have same kinds of pets; or Find two other students who like your favorite ice cream flavor. Students usually begin to call out their answers and cluster with those whose answers match. Once they have three people, their group is complete. Teachers may have to make a cluster of non-matching students.

Once the students are in their pairs or trios, have them discuss one of the following questions read aloud by the teacher.  After a minute of discussion passes, remix the groups and continue with next question. Repeat until all questions have been discussed.

Discussion Questions

What does it mean to be “in style?”

Describe something that is “plain” and something that is “fancy”.
What kind (style) of music would be appropriate for a wedding?, a child’s birthday party?, a parade

Instructions

Please share your suggestions for making the lesson better. Let the Museum know how this lesson worked for you and your students by sending your comments and suggestions to david@flogris.org. Educators are encouraged to submit copies of final products and/or digital images to be shared on our website.

  1. Begin by reading aloud The Story of Miss Florence and the Lyme Art Colony to introduce students to the Lyme Art Colony.
  2. Introduce the assignment of comparing two works of art from the Florence Griswold Museum’s collection in terms of subject matter (what is painted), style (how it’s painted), and impact (how the subject matter and style work together). Have the students gather information about subject matter and style via their computer by going to The Fox Chase section of the Museum’s on-line learning site. After their virtual visit, they will select two panels from the Museum’s collection of painted panels to compare and contrast using the new vocabulary.
  3. Divide the class into working groups of three or four and distribute a color printout of both paintings listed below. Ask the groups to determine the subject of the paintings by making a list of everything they see in both paintings. Instruct them to draw a line between similar things in both paintings. Have the groups report out their discussion.
  4. Distribute the definitions of Tonalism and American Impressionism, the two painting styles popular in Old Lyme. Have the groups read the definitions and match a style to each painting and list why they made that choice. Have the groups consider the following questions in terms of subject matter and style. What questions do they have now? What more would they like to know? What did the definitions make them think about? Do they have any pictures in their heads after reading the definition of other paintings? Which style do they like more?
  5. Ask volunteers from the class to identify their favorite part of the paintings. This is a list of personal “wows.”
  6. Before ending, ask the whole class to respond in writing to this question: How does the style of a painting change the way you feel about it?
  7. Ask students to share their answers with each other.
  8. Instruct the student to visit the In Situ: The Painted Panels section of the website to select two panels from the collection to write about. They need to select one good example of Tonalism and one good example of American Impressionism. They should write an essay comparing the two panels in terms of subject matter and artistic style. They should end with why they chose the panels identifying their favorite parts (the wow) as well as how the artists’ choices of subject matter and artistic style work together for each panel.
  9. During the draft stage, have students occasionally gather in their groups to share their research, ideas, and writing. Encourage students to make suggestions to enhance each other’s writing.

Painting #1

henry_ranger_02

Henry Ward Ranger (1858-1916)
Autumn Woodlands, 1902
Oil on canvas
Gift of Mr. Ezekial Liverant


Painting #2

hassam_14

Childe Hassam (1859-1935)
Ten Pound Island, c. 1896
Oil on canvas
Gift of the Hartford Steam Boiler Inspection and Insurance Company


Tonalism: The Tonalists sought to capture the old-fashioned qualities of the region, the quiet forest interiors and time-worn small farms, using earthy tones of browns, golds and muted greens. Tonalism is characterized by subdued and poetic landscapes that were rich with mood and sentiment. Twilight and dusk were favored times of day for the Tonalists, as were more atmospheric conditions of fog, mist, and rain. They painted dimly lit woods and rural settings, and finished them with a layer of toned varnish.

American Impressionism: American Impressionism, like its European inspiration, featured bright colors and painterly, broken brushstrokes that sought to capture the fleeting emotion, or “impression” of a scene. Unlike their French paintings, however, the subjects did not derive from the modernity of urban Paris but rather presented a fresh look at rural New England. They often layered thick brushstrokes of paint upon the canvas to suggest the light hitting their subject, enhancing the color and form. Inspired by Japanese prints and black and white photography, their compositions incorporated areas of flat color and pattern with abrupt cropping, slight blurring of edges, and intriguing juxtapositions.

In preparation for the students to select and write their own compare and contrast essays about two of the painted panels, have them use a computer to investigate The Fox Chase to see and read more about subject matter and style.

The Fox Chase

The following suggestions of where to look on-line might help speed up their discovery process.

Subject Matter

Where on The Fox Chase to find information:

The Cow

The Village of Old Lyme

The Lyme Landscape

A Time for Reflection

Have students reflect on the following questions in their own journals.

Content/Thinking

What is artistic style?

If you were one of the Lyme Art Colony painters, what subject matter would you choose?

Social

Which painting did your group like the most?

Did anyone in your group pick the same panels as you?

Personal

Would you rather be a Tonalist or an American Impressionist?

What is the best part, or WOW! Part, of the painting you liked least?

Appreciations

Before concluding the lesson, be sure to invite appreciations from the group (i.e. thank group partners for good brainstorming or suggestions for better writing). To help students begin making statements of appreciation, use such sentence starters as these:

I liked it when … (describe the situation)

I was amazed when . .

Follow-Up Activity

Consider planning a field trip to the Museum in Old Lyme with your students. Information about a visit can be found on Plan Your Visit.