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Larger Than Life

Francisco de Goya's genre paintings inspire original fantasy drawings in response to literature and real life.

  • Grade 4
    Grade 5
  • 30 to 60 minutes
  • Directions

    1. During an investigation into the country of Spain, invite students to do an in-depth study of the Spanish-born artist Francisco de Goya. He was known for his haunting political satire painting and his imaginative portraits, which were dramatic and close to caricatures. The painting Colossus shows his imagination quite well, while Portrait of Mariana Waldstein exemplifies his keen observational skills. Many of his paintings use dramatic color and light to dramatize his work.
    2. While reading classic or contemporary fantasy stories in collaborative groups, encourage students to imagine and discuss how Goya might have illustrated these stories.
    3. To create their own genre paintings (painting of everyday life) that also include fantasy, students imagine themselves in an everyday setting. On white paper, use Crayola® Washable Markers to draw themselves in familiar places, such as their bedrooms or yards.
    4. Next, students draw a thought bubbles of themselves, doing something terrific! Encourage them to think about Goya's Colossus and create imaginative images of themselves that are strong and bold. Use bold and vibrant colors to make powerful impacts with drawings, as Goya did with his paintings.
    5. Provide time for students to share their paintings and discuss how their work was influenced by Francisco de Goya.
  • Standards

    LA: Integrate information from several texts on the same topic in order to write or speak about the subject knowledgeably.

    LA: Read and comprehend informational texts, including history/social studies, science, and technical texts, at the high end of grade level text's complexity band independently and proficiently.

    LA: Conduct short research projects that use several sources to build knowledge through investigation of different aspects of a topic.

    LA: Recall relevant information from experiences or gather relevant information from print and digital sources; summarize or paraphrase information in notes and finished work, and provide a list of sources.

    LA: Engage effectively in a range of collaborative discussions (one-on-one, in groups, and teacher-led) with diverse partners on grade level topics and texts, building on others’ ideas and expressing their own clearly.

    SS: Describe ways in which language, stories, folktales, music, and artistic creations serve as expressions of culture and influence behavior of people living in a particular culture.

    SS: Use appropriate resources, data sources, and geographic tools to generate, manipulate, and interpret information.

    SS: Explore factors that contribute to one's personal identity such as interests, capabilities, and perceptions.

    VA: Intentionally take advantage of the qualities and characteristics of art media, techniques, and processes to enhance communication of experiences and ideas.

    VA: Select and use the qualities of structures and functions of art to improve communication of ideas.

  • Adaptations

    Possible classroom resources include: The Magician's Elephant by Kate DiCamilo; The Tale of Despereaux by Kate DiCamilo; Where the Mountain Meets the Moon by Grace Lin

    After reading a fantasy story, use Goya's style to illustrate a self-selected scene from the story.

    Working in small groups, students read a teacher-selected fantasy story. Students collaborate to re-write the closing chapter of the story, altering the story line. Students use Goya's style to illustrate their new ending. The altered closing should be presented to classmates.

    Students look closely at Goya's portraiture, "Group on a Balcony." Use Crayola Crayons or colored pencils to draw a group portrait of yourself and several friends talking casually on a balcony or porch.


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