Art Appreciation: Expressing Opinions

Design Guide

Designers for Learning - Adult Learning Zone

Table of Contents

Project Requirements

Part 1: Lesson Description

Lesson Title


Learner Audience / Primary Users

Educational Use

College & Career Readiness Standards (CCRS) Alignment


Material Type

Learning Goals

Time Required 

Lesson Author & License

Part 2: Lesson

Learning Objectives

Lesson Topics

Instructional Strategies and Activities


Guided Practice



Final Reflections

Part 1: Lesson Description

Lesson Title

Art Appreciation: Expressing Opinions


This lesson is aimed at adults who have experienced an interruption of their education for whatever reason. The purpose is to develop reading and writing skills while learning how to express their opinions regarding an art form. 

Most people can appreciate art, but may not have the language or experience to express their opinions about a piece.  This lesson provides an opportunity for adult students who desire to improve their writing to practice presenting and supporting an argument or opinion. In the learning process, they will exercise reading and writing skills commensurate with their level of knowledge.

Learner Audience / Primary Users

My learning audience / primary users are adults who interrupted their education due to multiple problems in their lives (economic deprivation, income to prison, immigration, etc.). 

Educational Use

●Curriculum / Instruction

●Informal Education

College & Career Readiness Standards (CCRS)

Subject: CCRS.ELA - Literacy

Reading standards

     -CCR Anchor 1, RI/RL.4.1: Refer to details and examples in a text when explaining what a text says explicitly and when drawing inferences from the text.

Writing Standards

    - CCR Anchor 1, W.3.1: Write an opinion piece on topics or texts, supporting a point of view with reasons.

    - CCR Anchor 6, W.3.6: With guidance and support, use technology to produce and publish writing (using keyboarding skills) as well as to interact and collaborate with others. 

The last substrand is for times when the teacher/learner has access to computers.substrand is for times when the teacher/learner has access to computers.



Material Type

●Instructional Materials

Document: Questions to Ask Yourself When Viewing a Painting


Reading: Introduction to Different Types of Painting Styles 


Document: Writing Your Art Review

Download: Writing_Your_Art_Review.docx

PDF of paintings:

Download: paintings_Eolqgga.pdf

Learning Goals

The purpose of this lesson is for learners to be able to:

●Answer basic questions related to painting as an art form.

●Express his/her opinion regarding chosen painting.

●Share his/her review with others.

Time Required for Lesson

60 - 90 minutes

Lesson Author & License

●Lesson Author: Margaret Mackay

●License: Creative Commons CC BY 4.0 license

Part 2: Lesson

Learning Objectives

By the end of the lesson, the learner should be able to: 

  • answer questions regarding evaluating art. 
  • create correctly constructed sentences using academic English. 
  • write a 3- 5 sentence review of a painting using academic English. 

Introduction: Accessing prior knowledge.

The teacher asks learners, "What is art?"  Learners will provide their definitions and examples.  The teacher continues, "Most people have a favorite form of art, whether it be painting, photography, sculpture, music, or dance.  Which is your favorite?  Can you tell me why?  Today we will learn how to express our opinions by writing a review about a piece of art that you chose."  This exercise allows the learners to begin to think about different forms of art and how they feel about them.

Guided Reading

The teacher hands out, "Introduction to Different Types of Painting Styles".   The teacher explains this information will be useful to the learners in determining how to discuss art.  The learners will read aloud, as a class or in small groups depending on the number of students.  The learners will discuss which styles appeal to them and why.

Exploration and Discussion

The teacher invites students to walk around the room to look at images of paintings previously attached to the walls (or spread on a table).  The teacher asks each student to choose a painting that they like and/or effects them the most.  This will be the painting they will review.

The teacher hands out the document, "QUESTIONS TO ASK YOURSELF WHEN VIEWING A PAINTING".  Learners will answer the questions to help them identify the topics than can be discussed in their review.


The teacher hands out the document, "Review of ...".  A review is provided for teacher use, or the teacher may wish to write their own review for demonstration.

The teacher will write a review of a painting, describing as she goes the elements required (such as title, artist, style, colors, feelings invoked, opinions, etc.).  This would ideally be done on a computer or overhead projector.  If these are not available, printouts of the teacher review, divided into numbered sections according to the portion discussed, can be provided.

 The teacher will hand out cloze exercises. The teacher will guide some cloze exercises where the student can choose appropriate words to complete a review.


  • The learners will complete a variety of cloze exercises where different opinions and parts of speech need to be filled in.  
  • The teacher will monitor the learners' progress and offer aid if there are difficulties. 
  • The teacher will show how the learners are effectively writing their own reviews in preparation for Integration. 


  • Learners will independently write their own review of the painting of their choosing.  
  • The reviews will be shared and discussed with the class.  
  • The learners will reflect on how sharing their opinion in written form helps their ability to express themselves.

Final Reflection

The teacher asks learners to write on a card three ideas to apply what they learned in lesson beyond the classroom and connect with their lives. Allow 5 minutes to perform the task. At the end, each group reads aloud their findings.

Return to top