John Berger suggests that when an individual views a portrait, the original meaning is no longer attached to it, and that the person modifies or changes the meaning according to his or her perspectives. In essence, the people viewing the painting in its entirety develop their own interpretation of the portrait, reaching the conclusion that the elements of the piece (i.e., tone, setting, colors) all come together as one cohesive unit.
60 minutes to 120 minutes
Students will use a KWL graphic organizer to write down what they know about the ride before reading the
Real Story of Paul Revere's Ride.
This story is short and can be accessed on the website http://www.paulrevere.org. Students will view three different images of Paul Revere riding his horse from http://www.paulrevere.org and then view Grant Wood's interpretation of Paul Revere's ride from the website http://www.metmuseum.org and develop their own interpretation of the portrait. Students will create their own poster of Paul Revere. If teachers do not have a technology center in their building, then perhaps they can use an LCD projector in the classroom or computers in the building.
A copy of the story of the midnight ride of Revere (http://www.paulrevere.org)
Crayons, markers, or colored pencils
White paper (large)
An enlarged photo of the ride, courtesy of the Metropolitan Museum of Art website, will be shown on the computer in the classroom or at a technology center.
Students will enter the room and view the images on the Paul Revere website: http://www.paulrevere.org
1. Students will quietly view one image (teacher's choice) from the Paul Revere website and jot down any words that the picture conjures up.
2. Teacher will generate a discussion about the event happening in the picture.
3. Teacher will ask questions about the photo and ask students to discuss why the artist decided to interpret the event in this particular way. Students will generate responses to the questions and begin to point out things that they notice in the picture that may contribute to the meaning of the image.
4. Teacher will ask the students to try to look at the elements of the picture like the mood or the specific colors, and construct an idea about what theme may be represented in Wood's interpretation.
5. Next, the teacher will provide of the
Real Story of Paul Revere's Ride
, also from the Paul Revere website, and in groups of three to four, the students will read it and summarize the key points of the ride, or use the KWL chart to complete the information they have learned.
6. The teacher and the students will discuss the significance of the ride and generate a discussion of whether or not the picture and the story's meaning are alike or different.
7. Students will plan their poster of Paul Revere.
Finally, in small groups, the students will work on their own portrait interpreting the Midnight Ride and present it to their classmates. What would the portrait look like now that we understand the significance of the ride? I would ask my students, "How would you tell the story of Paul Revere's Ride?"