Guiding Principles

EXPRESS: Convey thoughts, ideas, and emotions through art, words, and actions.

Guiding Questions

Ask these suggested guiding questions to use the strategy EXPRESS:

  • What does this artwork remind you of?
  • What emotions do you feel when you look at this artwork?
  • What do you think the artist is expressing in this artwork? 
    • How would you express these ideas?

Suggested Activities

7 Word Story

  • Write a story about an artwork using only 7 words. 

Beginning, Middle, & End

  • Choose one of these questions, and use your imagination in your response:
    • If this artwork is the beginning of a story, what might happen next?
    • If this artwork is the middle of a story, what might have happened before? What might be about to happen?
    • If this artwork is the end of a story, what might the story be?

Character, Setting, Plot, and Mood

  • How is it different to read a story in a book versus looking at a story in a painting? How is it similar? This question can transition into a discussion about character, setting, plot, and mood in a specific story and a specific painting. 


  • Write a Haiku describing a work of art.
  • Write a Haiku about how a person in a work of art is feeling. 
  • Pick a person or object in an artwork. Write a Haiku from the perspective of that person or object. 

Personal Choices

  • Show students a selection of artworks (or pick a gallery in the museum). Ask a series of questions and have them select the artwork they think best answers the question. After each question, have students explain their choices. Questions may include:
    • Which work of art is the most powerful?
    • Which work of art fits in with the other artworks the least? Which work of art are you most curious about?
    • Which work of art do you like the best?
    • Which do you like the least?