Teaching English and Drama: from art to words
Develop a sense of character
Focusing on one object from the bag, for example, the pink ribbon, and sharing the ideas about it can provide a way of developing the character of the horseman further.
The inclusion of the ribbon is not an accidental choice. The suggestion of memento and the gender association of the colour pink lay down clues to which your class will respond.
Creating the scene when the man first read the letter and when the ribbon was given to him, or when he chose it to put in his bag, will add new dimensions to the character.
Tthe range of ideas your class creates will add to the reserve of possibilities that are there to be drawn on.
The letter refers to qualities the horseman may have: courage, strength and kindness of heart. You could create a freeze frame of moments from the horseman's past, where students enact different scenes.
This is a way of exploring the horseman's character, looking at times when he might have shown such qualities, developing a sense of who the man is and the experiences he has had.
Cuyp's horseman now has a back story.
Next: Create new characters