About my Students
My students are between 14 and 15. They started learning English this September. They have a special curriculum. It means that they have 15 English lessons a week and three English teachers. Their school is in Kisvárda, Hungary. The project is related to the exhibition of Hatvany Viktoria.
As there was a temporary exhibition in the town, we decided to visit it. Here we could see the paintings of Hatvany Viktoria. She is a painter, who paints not only on canvas but onto a special type of porcelain called Hollóházi. The artist and her works were unknown to me and my students, but we liked them. As a result, we decided to learn more about her work and her life.
Painting on porcelain sounded something modern for my students, but I wanted to show them, that painting on porcelain is not a new fashion and that is the point, where I used Europeana to prove this. On the site, my students searched for painted plates.
Besides getting to know the artist, I wanted my students to practice the English language. They had to tell their ideas about the paintings in English and the language of communication during the lessons was English, of course. To help them summarize their ideas and feelings I asked them to answer four questions. As picture description is part of most Hungarian language exams. Moreover, I tried to ask the questions in a way, which will help them to build up a picture description which will be also suitable for a language exam.
Furthermore, I divided the class into two. One group got a short text about the life of the artist. Meanwhile, the other group, call them the reporters, got questions in Hungarian about the life and work of the artist. First, they had to translate the questions into English with the help of dictionaries. Then, the reporters found a pair from the other group and interviewed them about the artist. This way I achieved two aims: they used the English language and on the other hand, they learnt about the artist.
As a final product, they made a PowerPoint presentation, using the photos of the plates they found on Europeana.
As the artist was unknown even for me before the project, I enjoyed learning about her art together with my students. They used the English language during the description of the paintings and when they changed ideas. They enjoyed that we left the building of our school and learnt something new at a different venue. If only a few of them got closer to the world of Art, I would say I am happy.
If you would like to know more about this learning scenario, click below:
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The featured image used to illustrate this article belongs to the public domain. Click here to find it.