1. Introduction
  2. Teach It 
  3. Dig Deeper


This segment equates sentences to lines in art. It discusses how artists rely on a variety of lines to create interest and how authors, too, should use both short and long sentences to make their writing more interesting to read.

Time: 45-50 minute period


  • Students will construct a variety of complete and interesting sentences.
  • Students assess sentence variation and interest and communicate feedback to a peer.

Common Core State Standards for English Language Arts:

  • SL.CCR.1 Prepare for and participate effectively in a range of conversations and collaborations with diverse partners, building on others’ ideas and expressing their own clearly and persuasively.
  • R.CCR.5 Analyze the structure of texts, including how specific sentences, paragraphs, and larger portions of the text (e.g. a section, chapter, scene, or stanza) relate to each other and the whole.
  • W.CCR.4 Produce clear and coherent writing in which the development, organization, and style are appropriate to task, purpose, and audience.
  • W.CCR.6 Use technology, including the Internet, to produce and publish writing and to interact and collaborate with others.

Maine Learning Results Visual and Performing Arts Standards:

  • A2 Elements of Art and Principles of Design – Visual Arts

Segment Vocabulary: fundamental, engraving, variation

Teach It

Prior to viewing:

Divide students into groups of six. Provide one student in each group with a simple sentence, such as, “I saw a painting.”; “I looked at a sculpture.”; “I went to an exhibition.”; “I took a photograph.” Ask the first student to add or change one word to make it a more interesting sentence.  The next person in the group then adds or changes another word in the sentence to make it more interesting.  Continue passing until each group member has added a word or made a change.  Have each group share their completed sentences.

Explain to students that they are going to be watching a segment that compares sentences in writing to lines in art – that both are utilized to create interest and variation.

Writing Through Art Activity:

Display the image(s) students used to create their word list. Ask students to revisit the word list they refined last class. Students should use their list of words as a starting point for sentences that describe the artwork. Instruct students to create long and short sentences; one short sentence for every two long sentences.

Ask students to share their sentences with a partner. Each partner should ask these questions as they review the piece: Is there a variety of long and short sentences? Are the sentences interesting? Partners provide feedback on the piece.

Using Comic Life for generating words and sentences

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.

In pairs, have student review a piece of writing (their own, their partner’s or a sample) and highlight each sentence with a different color.  Ask them to analyze the length of sentences and determine if they think there are a variety of sentences in the piece.

Display Allison Hildreth’s statement from the film, “Art is just a language, like writing is a language.”  Ask students to create three sentences, of varying length, that support Hildreth’s statement.

Link for Creating Sentences

Display two pieces of art with varying lines from Bates Museum of Art. Have students view each piece and write about how the artist(s) used lines to create interest.