Guiding Principles

IDENTIFY: Look closely and describe what you see.

Guiding Questions

Ask these suggested guiding questions to use the strategy IDENTIFY:

  • Describe the artwork.
  • What do you notice?
  • What do you recognize?
  • What is familiar? What is unfamiliar?

Suggested Activities

30 Second Look:

  • Look at the painting for 30 seconds.
  • Have everyone close their eyes. Ask them to say five to ten things they remember.
  • Ask them to open their eyes and find five things they didn’t notice the first time they looked. 

Fact vs Fiction:

  • Have students move around through True or False questions. Develop a series of true/false or multiple choice questions about an artwork that students have to move into position to answer.
  • People who think the answer is true stand on one side, people who think the answer is false stand on the other side.
  • As a group, look back at the artwork and discuss why they think their answer is more accurate. 

First Look:

  • Ask students where their eye goes first.
  • After discussing that, ask: where does it go next?
  • Then, where does it go?
  • This is a good way to have a conversation about what the artist has done with lines, gestures, and movement to move the eye around a composition. 

Focus In:

  • Look at a painting and ask students what they see.
  • Then, assign students one part of the painting on which to focus. They can look as a small group or each student can work independently on his/her/their assigned section. Have them focus on their section to find five things they did not notice the first time they looked at the entire artwork. 

Nouns and Adjectives:

  • Ask the class for 10 nouns and 10 adjectives to describe a work of art they see.
  • Create a post-it note for each word. Group like words together; see where there are commonalities and differences.