Objectives: To compare and contrast aspects of Van Gogh's The Night Café and Hopper's Sunlight In A Cafeteria using a Venn diagram. To imagine oneself in the painting and describe in paragraph form what you would experience with the five senses.
Materials: Large prints of both paintings for display in the classroom, postcards (from the Yale Art Gallery) of both paintings for partner use, a Venn diagram drawn on large chart paper, dark markers in three colors, notebook paper, pencils.
This activity follows a close analysis of each of these two paintings so that the students already have a familiarity with them.
1. Explain that we are now going to revisit these two paintings and explore ways that they are different and similar. Reiterate the obvious fact that, of course, they were done by two different artists and in two different time periods. Refer to the time-line. Explain that now we are going to take a closer took to find out more.
2. Before breaking up into pairs, provide a guide for the class by listing some aspects that they will want to include in their comparison such as: colors, shapes, lines, figures, objects, time of day, season of the year, mood, what action is taking place and how you feel when you look at it.
3. Provide each pair with writing paper which they will fold in half to create two columns labeled same and different. Also, pass out the two postcard reproductions of these paintings for each pair to refer to. The teacher then walks around, offering assistance and monitoring. Allow 15-20 minutes for this activity.
4. Ask all the students to reassemble in one large group and ask individuals to offer their findings as you record their ideas in the appropriate places (in different colors of markers) on the Venn diagram. Expect and encourage discussion as this is done. What follows are some possibilities that you may include:
(chart availabale in print form)
5. Following this activity, ask the class to imagine they are in the picture. Ask them to write in paragraph form about what they are doing there and to describe what they see, hear, taste, smell and touch. Ask them also to include how they are feeling in this setting.
6. Ask partners to share their writings with each other and then volunteers may share their writings with the larger group.