Implementation of “We Paint like Vincent Van Gogh” (SOI-MT-386)

Author: Brendan Buttigieg, Art Teacher

School/Organization: St Paul’s Bay Primary School, Malta

In springtime I like promote the appreciation and the beauty of nature through the artworks that I plan to do with the students. Most of the time I introduce a new Art lesson by giving some information about a specific related artist from the history of Art and expose the students to his or her artworks, and the learning scenario that I selected does the same.  I chose the learning scenario: ‘We Paint like Vincent Van Gogh’ to be implemented with my students. Sometimes students find it hard to draw something realistic, thus exposing them to the art works by Vincent Van Gogh and teaching them about the post-impressionism style that he made use of was a very good idea. This helped them to interest themselves more and stay attentive. The students observed several works of Art of this artist and a self-portrait of this artists from Europeana and the main basic elements of Art which he used to compose his artworks namely line, shape, colour, pattern, and space. The students talked about the basic elements that they observed in the art works in English and in Maltese and they executed their own vase of sunflowers inspired from the works of Vincent Van Gogh. Students expressed themselves creatively by using pencil colours and presented their final works to each other.

The Context of the Implementation of this Learning Scenario 

I am an Art teacher in a multicultural state Primary school in Malta and I teach students between the ages of 5-11 years, in our school Art room. I implemented this learning scenario with students in the age range of 8 and 9 years with a group of 20 participants, that is a whole class. The students have an Art lesson weekly, so they are familiar with Art, Art history, Art periods, styles and with some other artists that we refer to during different Art lessons.

The Learning Experience

Link to Art History (15 minutes)

The students were introduced to Vincent Van Gogh using a short YouTube video clip about his life and remarkable post-impressionist style found online and others from Europeana. A visual presentation was another resource used in the introduction of this lesson. 

Observing the Basic Elements of Art (15 minutes)

The students were encouraged to have a closer look and observe in detail some impressionist art works executed by this artist and notice the main basic elements of art that Vincent Van Gogh made

use of. This helped them as they had to create a vase with sunflowers themselves and use some of the basic elements of art.

Students learning about Vincent Van Gogh while seeing his self-portrait.

Creating a vase with sunflowers (15 minutes)

The students were allowed to use their LearnPads and look for more sunflower artworks by this artist. This allowed the students to be inspired and get different ideas from different sources of inspiration. 

Work in Progress (30 minutes)

Their task was to draw a vase of sunflowers inspired from the work of Vincent Van Gogh.

Students sketching their vase of sunflowers artwork.

Students finishing of their vase of sunflowers inspired from the artwork of Vincent Van Gogh.

Discussion and Peer Assessment (15 minutes)

The students were invited to discuss their work with their peers, and they were given feedback from the teacher.

The main Learning outcomes and what helped in achieving them.

  • Students observed and discussed the works by Vincent Van Gogh with the help of a YouTube video clip and Europeana visual images and a visual presentation.
  • Students discovered some aspects of his art works and the basic elements of art that he used. 
  • Students researched some information about the artist and his artistic style by using their LearnPads, Google, YouTube and Europeana platform.
  • Students understood that they need to create an artwork depicting a vase with sunflowers with the help of the images they have been exposed to and that they browsed on the Web.
  • Students expressed them self creatively through the artwork they have done.
  • Students peer assessed the art works of each other with their teacher. The comments and criticism both positive and the ways how an art could have been improved were essential. 

I would give advice to other educators to give more time to the students and let them explore and browse through the Europeana platform about the artist and his works. This would give them the opportunity to create different artworks inspired from the style and theme that this artist is very renowned for.

My Europeana Learning Experience
As an educator who is aware of the Teaching with Europeana resources and who also have several learning published learning scenarios and story of implementations of other learning scenarios, I can say this is an essential resource for all the teachers as one can find may learning scenarios gathered all in one place. Both Europeana and Teaching with Europeana are helpful tools where one can find various relevant resources which one can make use of and adapt according to ones need. Art and science are two fun subjects, and one would easily find appropriate resources and incorporate them in a cross curricular way in the curriculum. This could be done by using the general search engine or the subject sorting and search engine. Europeana resources facilitate the work of the teachers.

Did you find this story of implementation interesting? Why don’t you read about the related learning scenario? We Paint like Vincent Van Gogh (EN-CUR-483) created by Lidija Križanić

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Public Domain Mark 1.0: the featured image used to illustrate this article has been found on Europeana and has been provided by the Nationalmuseet Sweden.

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