This lesson encourages students to write with greater profundity when analyzing a painting. J.M.W. Turner’s painted “The Slave Ship,” which initially was panned by the critics, but then as years went by, became a masterpiece. Students will read, listen to and view supporting clips while learning the necessary elements to analyze the purpose of the painting. Students will show mastery of the standards at the end of the lesson through a rhetorical précis, a Socratic Seminar, and a written timed essay scored on an AP style rubric. The prompt for the essay asks the student to analyze the painting.
The Atlantic Monthly film review, “Mr. Turner Turns a Man Into a Myth, Beautifully,” by Katie Kilkenny is the central text of this resource. Two mini documentaries from the film, Mr. Turner are utilized, as is an opportunity to write a rhetorical précis as well as supporting material for teaching this strategy to your students. Various videos on the Slave Ship are used in the resource. There is a 25 question-viewing guide on Simon Schama’s The Power of Art: Turner.
These lessons fit any AP Art History, Honors Literature class, Pre-AP, American Literature, AP English Language or Literature class to prepare students for AP English Language exams, Common Core extended response assessments, American Literature Course exams, the SAT and ACT essay and critical thinking activities.
There are sources for teaching the Socratic Seminar, as the lessons act as explication for the argument. The packet includes complete lessons, Common Core standards, essential and key questions.
Tags: Close Reading, writing, Pre-AP, critical thinking, Art, Art History, World Literature, argument