Siblings, Space and Serenity Now … ‘The Gower Family’ by George Romney 1776
April 8, 2020
Talk About Art …Visual Thinking Strategies
Early Childhood Questions About the Painting:
-can you make some of the poses that the Gower children are making in their dance?
-if you don’t have a tambourine, how could you make music to dance to?
– the name of the little girl in the orange/red dress is Susan. Can you hear and say the sound at the beginning of her name? What sound is at the beginning of your name? -can you trace with your finger the ‘S’ shape that the big sister is making with her body by playing the tambourine above her head? -what other things can you see that begin with the ‘s’ sound? (sky, stone, sisters, smile, scarf, sash…)
-how many children are in the picture? Can you point and count? -how many little feet can you see?
I see, I think, I wonder… for everyone!
Ask your child what they notice. Not yet what’s happening in that painting, only what they observe, something they could reach out and touch. Give them time and talk about ‘slow looking’.
-colours, children, clothes, tambourine etc.
When your child has talked about what they can see, move on to the next stage of I think.
Ask what is going on in the painting, building layers of tentative interpretation. Push for alternatives and additions.
What’s going on?
What are the children doing? How do you know?
Are they friends? family?
Why is the tall girl (older sister) standing still?
How is she helping the younger children?
How can you tell that the children are dancing/ moving?
Can you tell which child is enjoying it most by looking at their faces?
Do our feelings show on our faces?
Can we change our feelings? What can we do?
Are the children using any Habits of Mind? Finding Humour? Creating, Imagining and Innovating? Gathering Data through All of their Senses? Thinking Flexibly? Listening with Empathy and Understanding?
Ask your child what they are now wondering about the painting based on their observations and thoughts.
Encourage them to begin a sentence with “I wonder…”
You may have to show them how to do it by voicing what you wonder eg…. I wonder what song the big sister is playing?
I wonder what their names are? From left to right they are … Georgina, Susan, Granville, Charlotte Sophia and the big sister playing the tambourine is Anne.
Share the thinking, encouraging your child to talk about their thinking.
Good general questions to help the discussion:
What makes you say that?
What can you see that makes you think that?
What’s going on here?
Is it an old or new painting? What makes you say that?