UNIT 22  Articles: Indefinite and Definite

A Woman is Looking at an Aquarium

WEBSITE ADDRESS: http://www.artchive.com/ftp_site.htm

OBJECTIVE:
To have students use the target grammar to talk about famous artwork.

SKILLS
Reading
Writing
Speaking

PRE-VIEWING QUESTIONS
To prepare students to discuss famous artwork, bring an evocative picture of a work of art to class. Ask these questions:
What do you see in this picture?
Where are the people and what are they doing?
What do you think happened just before this moment?
What do you think is going to happen next?

PRE-VIEWING
Print and distribute the handout to your students before they view the site. Click here for Student Worksheet.
Review the handout with the students.
Remind students that they are going to the website just to get information for the activity; students should not give personal information or credit card information in the website.

VOCABULARY
You may want to pre-teach the following vocabulary words:

aquarium
artwork
drugstore
reflection
runaway

ACTIVITIES
Reading:
Divide the class into four groups. Each group will observe a different painting. Have students go to the website and find their assigned painting. Students should use a dictionary or other reference book to find the names of objects in the picture that they don't know.

Group A: Select "Cassatt" from the list of artists. Scroll down to and click on "The Bath."

Group B :Select "Hopper" from the list of artists. Scroll down to and click on "Office at Night."

Group C: Select "Matisse" from the list of artists. Scroll down to and click on "Woman Before an Aquarium."

Group D: Select "Rockwell" from the list of artists. Scroll down to and click on "The Runaway."

Writing:
Have students write a description of the picture. Remind students to describe who the people are, where they are, and what objects are around them. Encourage them to use indefinite and definite articles as they describe the picture.

Example:

A woman is looking at an aquarium. She is staring at some goldfish. There is a table. The table is made of wood…

Speaking:
1. Pair students who looked at different pictures. Each student should describe his or her picture to the partner without showing it to him or her. The partner will draw the picture on a blank piece of paper as it is described. The student who is drawing may ask questions to clarify the description. Remind students to use indefinite and definite articles as they describe the picture. When students are done, they should compare the drawing with the painting. Do they look alike?

Example:

A: A woman is sitting at a table. Her elbows are on the table.
B: Do you see her legs?
A: The only part of her I see is her head, neck, shoulders, and arms.
2. Have students make up a story about the painting. Ask: What is the story of the painting? What happened just before the moment of the painting? What do you think will happen next? When they have created a story about the person or people in the painting, they can join with another pair of students and tell them the story.

Example:
A woman is waiting for her boyfriend to pick her up. He is always late, and he is late again. She's angry but she is trying not to show it. That's why she's staring at some goldfish. The goldfish calm her down…