Teaching English and Drama: from art to words

Objects from an imagined world

Reaching into the painting for a significant object helps to develop the belief in the imagined world on which creating a story depends.

The man on the horse has a bag slung over his shoulder. Using your own bag to represent this and putting some things inside adds elements to a plot. This will enable the storymaking to develop.

Things the bag might contain:

  • Blank, leatherbound notebook 
  • Purse containing a gold coin
  • Small jar
  • Pink ribbon 
  • Letter written in ink (the letter has been opened)

The text of the letter:

Sir,

I am writing on behalf of my master, the Duke, a wealthy man who is unfortunately in poor health.

He has developed a severe weakness of the eyes that physicians say will worsen before the year is out. There is no known cure but one. I understand that you are a man who is willing to take on a challenge.

You are, I believe, courageous and strong enough to undertake a journey that will take you far from home. I trust you also have enough kindness in your heart to help a fellow man. There will be a generous reward for your successful efforts. You are invited to meet with the Duke himself to discuss this further.

Yours sincerely,  

The beginnings of a story

The talk that surrounds the objects in the bag, why they might be there, where they might have come from and what they reveal about the horseman is the stuff of a story.

This story stuff is a crucial element in engaging your class with the imagined world, sparking ideas for what will later be shaped into a story.   

Next: Develop a sense of character

 
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