Implementation of “Let’s play … Dada and Surrealism!” (SOI-GR-286)

Author: Anna Karamourtou, /French teacher

School/Organization: High School of Itea Karditsa, Greece

As a French language teacher and an ambassador of French culture through the learning of French as a second foreign language in Lower secondary, I often use multimodal texts of French literature in the classroom. The stimulus is always textbook material. It offered students the opportunity to discover, explore and appreciate surrealism, this kind of art .At the same time, in the context of etwinning project “La poésie adoucit les mœurs”, we carry out poetry workshops in the classroom. We enjoyed in practice the surreal French poetry.

The implementation context

Discovernig our mission. 

This scenario was applied to students aged 15 to 16 years old, during four 45 minute lessons, in cooperation with the Arts and English teachers at school. The first part of the LS (1 teaching hour) was implemented in the ICT lab at school. The beginning was made through a brainstorming session that resulted from the children’s answers to the questions

  • What is poetry?
  • What is surrealism?

We used the application Answergarden.


The students’ answers constituted a good opportunity to apply to the L.S. We discussed the common characteristics of dreams. Then we saw some Surrealist paintings via Europeana’s resources.  I discussed the rules of use with students and asked for their help in order to find a way to be surrealists for two weeks! 


Our research was begun from the exhibition From Dada to Surrealism. 

And creating… 

For homework, they were asked to choose one of the paintings shown, assume that it was a scene from a dream they had dreamt and imagine or create stories, paintings, and songs about it.

The narrative

Let’s talk , write or paint about our dreams.

Like Apollinaire, considered as the forefather of Surrealism, André Breton, Paul Eluard, students create poems tautograms, calligrammes which typeface and arrangement of words on the page add to the meaning of the compositions. 

They also created comics using Europeana’s sources via Canva

Our conclusions :

Surrealism is an art movement that began in the 1920s in France. Surrealist artists create works that do not use logic and are inspired by dreams and the imagination in general. Surrealism includes different types of artists: poets, painters, writers, sculptors, photographers…

Our creations for during the next two 45 minute lessons:

  • The Exquisite Corpse was an exercise which consists in creating a sentence with several people without knowing what the others have written. The result was often very strange and sometimes amusing sentences!
  • Our Collages were an interesting practice in surrealism, cutting up and putting together all sorts of images to create a new image that does not represent reality.
  • Poems written were in different forms and our students wrote collaborative poems.
  • The students published their creations by creating padlets
  • Song and videoclips for it!
  • Finaly with we have wrote colorpoems and HAIKUS.

Ιt should be noted that, to implement the learning scenario as a French teacher I collaborated with the English teacher, and the teacher of Arts. Our collaboration was excellent and inspiring for our students and also for us.

Learning outcomes

We are all artists!

All the groups created interesting productions and did their best to meet all the requirements. Some of them were really original. They seemed to enjoy the collaborative writing procedure very much and they had a very fruitful interaction discussing their surrealistic ideas. All in all, the LS was a perfect way to help them understand the provocative nature of Surrealism.
Finally, this LS certainly helped most of my students to improve their English language skills in a more engaging and less stressful way.

Outcomes for the educator

An impressed teacher!
As I believe that learning should be fun and engaging, my lessons are designed around project-based learning. My students  with this adaptation surprised me. I was impressed by some of their creations and by how deeply they had reflected on the ways that artists can raise awareness or make a difference. It was a very useful and pleasant experience, implementing this LS. Both my students and I enjoyed it greatly. It was an opportunity for them to research ideas, discuss and cooperate. so, we send the biggest thank you to Andreas Galanos, who helped us to realize a flexible and effective approach and develop new strategies.

Did you find this story of implementation interesting? Why don’t you read about the related learning scenario? Let’s play … Dada and Surrealism! (LS-GR-529) created by andreasgalanos

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CC BY 4.0: the featured image used to illustrate this article has been found on Europeana and has been provided by the Lietuvos nacionalinis dailės muziejus.

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