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English through art

What would you do with it?

Level: Elementary upwards

Time: 20 – 25 minutes

Materials: A selection of images showing paintings, sculptures and objets d’art

Language focus: Prepositions, vocabulary of furniture and rooms in the house, reduced second-conditional forms

Indicative language: I’d put it in the kitchen; My aunt would like it

Aim: To develop language with which to express decisions made in response to paintings, sculptures
and objets d’art

Preparation: Prepare some images, and think about the activity before class: what would you do with the
different objects, and why?

in class

  1. Tell the class to imagine that they have been left some valuable paintings and sculptures by a distant relative. Display the images, and tell the students that for each work of art they must decide either where to put it in their home or who to give it to.
  2. Ask the students to discuss their decisions in pairs or small groups, and then ask each pair or group to tell the whole class what they decided to do with each work of art. As they do this, make notes of any language they use that is particularly expressive, or particularly confusing.
  3. Write some examples of this language – successful and less successful – on the board, and discuss with the class.
  4. Produce two more images of art works and invite the students to comment, encouraging them to practise using the successful language that you have highlighted above where it is appropriate.

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