1. Introduction
  2. Teach It 
  3. Dig Deeper


This segment examines a few of the conventions that apply to art and writing and discusses the importance of following conventions in order to accurately communicate ideas.

Time: 45-50 minute period


  • Students will explain the purpose of conventions in writing and art.
  • Students will edit two pieces of writing and identify errors in conventions (as appropriate to specific grade level expectations).

Common Core State Standards for English Language Arts:

  • W.CCR.5 Develop and strengthen writing as needed by planning, revising, editing, rewriting, or trying a new approach.
  • W.CCR.6 Use technology, including the Internet, to produce and publish writing and to interact and collaborate with others.
  • L.CCR.2 Demonstrate command of the conventions of standard English capitalization, punctuation, and spelling when writing.

Segment Vocabulary:

conventions, perceive
Word Wall

Teach It

Prior to viewing:

Students will need to have an understanding of what is meant by “conventions.”  Remind them that conventions, in writing, are like the rules that should be followed.  Ask them to list a few writing rules they are familiar with.  Next, explain that the segment is going to explain how artists, too, have certain conventions that they follow.  Tell students to think about why conventions are important as they watch the segment.

Ask students to explain why conventions are important in art and writing. Review necessary grade-level expectations for conventions.

Writing Through Art Activity:

Ask students to revisit the writing they have completed on the specific image. They should edit their own work for correct grammar, spelling, and punctuation (according to grade level expectations). Then, partners should trade written pieces for a peer edit.

Conventions-Purdue Online Writing Lab

Dig Deeper

Note: If students created a Venn Diagram to compare and contrast art and writing in the first segment, revisit the diagram and make any necessary additions or corrections based on this segment.

Display several examples of cubist artworks.Explain to students: If an artist is painting realistically, the pictorial convention of showing only the view that can be seen from his perspective has to be adhered to.  However, one could choose to flout that convention with the goal of producing an image that purposefully undermines that point of view.  One of the things Cubist artists are known for is their interest in simultaneously displaying many views of an object.  That means that while they might show someone’s face straight-on, their nose or maybe an eye might be shown in profile, and the hair on the back of the subject’s head might be shown as though it were attached to the side instead, and the ear might be seen straight-on, too.  A Cubist view is almost like a composite image made from pictures taken by multiple cameras placed around and object.   In real life nothing looks this way, since we can only view from a single vantage point at a time.  So, why would an artist want to do that?  What other conventions have you seen artists purposefully ignoring?  What would be the effects?

Comparing Cubist paintings

Provide students with a copy of this document (This could link to an error filled rendition of the home page text.) that includes several convention errors. Ask students to read and identify errors with the appropriate copy editor’s symbols. Ask students to explain how the errors impacted the overall appeal of the document.

Explain to students that there is a proper way to cite a work of art. Display the standard format: Title (in italics), date, medium, dimension (height x width), edition (if appropriate), location. Have students locate the citation for the work of art they have been writing about. Ask them to include the proper citation in the written piece they have been working on. Ask them to use rulers or tape measures to be able to see the actual size of the piece. Is the size of the piece how they pictured it? For additional citation practice, have students produce a proper citation for a work of art they have created.

Link to teacher inspired lessons:

Writing conventions editing and revision