A frontispiece is a drawing or illustration or art work facing the title page of a book or before a section of a larger work. It’s purpose is to inform the reader either of a thematic possibility in the text that follows or of some other aspect of the work that should focus the reader’s attention. Let’s use the idea here to launch into a type of activity where the student can demonstrate some higher level thinking and work a bit outside the medium of written text. The idea is very basic and begins with a reading of the text. I suggest beginning with shorter works, especially poetry. The learner reads through the work twice (it’s preferable if one of the readings is done aloud). This is followed by giving the learner three works of art to also closely read. What the learner is looking for is a connection or multiple connections between the art and the written text. As a guide it’s important to note that there is not a “correct” answer to mark as right or wrong. There is, however, a justified answer which the learner must be prepared to identify and verbalize either in spoken or written format. This justification is where the guide can identify the depth and breath of the learner’s thinking as well as the depth and breadth of their understanding of the text.
The Connecting Poetry to Art exercise can be done in a number of formats. If computers or tablets are available, the poem and artworks can easily be digitized and downloaded by students for placement on a google doc or other document format. The digital format might also allow students to enlarge the art piece for deeper and more thorough analysis of the work.
A scoring guide is included, but it may be modified to suit your individual needs.