Truth in Art: Guernica

Truth in Art: Guernica

Lesson overview

In this C2 lesson plan, students will learn about the history and details of Picasso’s work Guernica. They will also learn various pieces of vocabulary for describing art, as well as read about different styles of art. 



The lesson starts with a few introduction questions related to artists and artwork. Then, the student is shown a famous painting (Guernica) and asked to answer some basic questions about the painting. 


Video: Why is this painting so shocking?

Prior to watching a video, the student gets familiar with the vocabulary which will be used in it (casualty, atrocity, disorienting, futile, etc.). First, they match the items with the correct meanings, and then, they use them to fill in the gaps in sentences. They also need to mark the stressed syllables in some of these words.
Next, they watch the video Why is this painting so shocking?, explaining the meaning behind Guernica by Pablo Picasso. The video is followed by a number of comprehension questions. Then, the student fills in the gaps in sentences extracted from the video. Wrapping up the part about Guernica, the student gets to discuss the painting by giving their own opinion.


Vocabulary: describing art

The student is presented with some common adjectives used to describe artwork (somber, subtle, vibrant, conflicting, etc.) to match them with their meanings. Next, they contrast these adjectives by pairing them up as antonyms.
These words are, then, put into a context for the sake of better understanding. 


Vocabulary: art movements

The student is given descriptions of different art movements (impressionism, surrealism, cubism, graffiti and pop art). Their task is to choose the correct alternatives to complete the passages.


Giving opinions

The student reads an opinion on art, analyzing the vocabulary used. They learn common expressions used to give an opinion without saying ‘I think’ (to my mind, as far as I’m concerned, for me, etc.). They get to practice using these expressions in an exercise where they are expected to describe and explain a painting.

The lesson ends with a few general wrap-up questions about art.



Comments (1)

I purchased an account because of this lesson alone, I am happy to report that it did not disappoint! My students have requested more lessons like this one and to be honest, me too! The explanation of the artwork in itself is remarkable and how it is intertwined with vocabulary and history is very creatively done. The tasks are engaging and challenging simultaneously, allowing time to fly. The Guernica is one of the most underestimated works of art and this lesson does it justice. Thank you and please keep them coming!

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