Picasso & Beyond

The Thousand Words Project (Colors and Vocabulary), Pamela Damon 7th Grade Language Arts, Auburn Middle School

Let Me Share What I See, Hear, and Feel When I Look at a Work of Art


  • To become familiar with the artwork of Pablo Picasso and other modernist artists whose works are in the collections of the Bates College Museum of Art.
  • Explore the work of young artist Alexandra Nechita
  • To look at a modernist work and convey in writing what one sees, hears, and feels from the experience
  • To communicate these senses in a well developed essay
  • To learn to use graphic organizers
  • To use rich vocabulary

MaineLearning Results

Middle Grades 5-8

E 1-3

Students will demonstrate the ability to use the skills and strategies of the writing process.

1. Identify specific personal strategies, strengths, and weaknesses in writing, and use direct feedback from peers and teachers to revise and polish the content of their finished pieces.

2. Use planning, drafting, and revising to produce, on demand, a well-developed, organized piece that demonstrates effective language use, voice, and command of mechanics.

3. Ask questions and apply personal interpretations in class discussion following speeches and oral presentations.


  • Laptops
  • LCD projector
  • Classroom materials
  • Websites
  • Read 180 lessons






  1. Presentation by the Bates College Museum of Art staff focusing on students exploring works of art by direct, active viewing.
  2. Students will gain an understanding of modernism as it applies to visual art.
  3. The class will critically examine information gathered from an Internet search on the young artist Alexandra Nechita, whose work students were introduced to during Read 180 class work.
  4. The grading rubric will be provided and discussed before students begin their work.
  5. Students will view artworks pre-selected by the teacher.  These will be by artists from the Bates collection whose work, like Nechita’s, is of styles similar to one of Picasso’s.
  6. Students will make a list of factual observations of the work.
  7. Students will make a list of subjective reactions to the work.
  8. As a group, students will develop a set of questions about the artwork they have seen which they must answer through their essay.
  9. Students will compare Nechita’s work with the work from the museum’s collection.
  10. As a group, students will develop an outline/graphic organizer with information gathered during their Internet search.  This information will be used by the class to discuss the formation of a well-written essay.
  11. Students will follow the writing process of brainstorming with the graphic organizers, developing a rough draft, peer/teacher editing, and a final essay.  These essays will speak on how this artist’s work affects them individually: what do they see, hear, and feel while viewing the piece of art incorporating the vocabulary and information they have learned through the TWP.


The Auburn Writing Prompt Developmental Continuum will assess students on the quality of the piece of writing.