Run With It

Have students apply their newly gained skills and knowledge from THE THOUSAND WORDS PROJECT to one or more of these fabulous extension activities:

Art in the Community (team with the art teacher and/or technology specialist):

  • Students act as guides at Bates Museum of Art where they are stationed near a specific piece and share information about it or read their art-inspired creative writing pieces.
  • Have students write a script and record an art tour of their classroom/school/community.
  • Invite local artists to visit the classroom and/or have students interview local artists about their work; have students write reflective papers about their experience.
  • Create a Public Service Announcement that encourages people to visit Bates Museum of Art (online or in person) or to educate people about art in their community. (In advance, students could create a poll for community members regarding their current knowledge/understanding/interest in the arts via an online survey application.)
  • Hold a Community Arts Night where students and adults share their work.
  • Students research public art in their city/town as a group project and record an audio or video report on the topic.

Links to Thousand Words Project teacher inspired lessons:

View lessons at the Museum of Art website.

To share your lessons and ideas for the Thousand Words Project, email:

Additional Writing Through Art Activities

  • Students compare the genres of portraiture and biography, lab reports and studies, doodling and brainstorming.
  • Students write a poem from the perspective of a work of art.
  • Students describe a work of art in a Dear Theo letter.
  • Students collectively write poems that form a museum alphabet.
  • Students compose a letter to an artist sharing their thoughts and asking questions regarding a specific work.
  • Students compose a letter that the subject of a painting might have sent to the artist, viewer, or friend.
  • Students use a specific piece of art as inspiration for a narrative story.
  • Students select two pieces from different mediums (i.e. paintings, photographs, songs, books) that elicit a similar emotion and write a piece that explains why both items generate a similar feeling to the student.
  • Students create a conversation between two or more subjects in a painting and record the dialogue to be uploaded to a website/blog.
  • Students research a specific work of an artist and write a memo, as the artist, to the curator of a museum explaining the work of art.
  • Students use Comic Life to depict a conversation between themselves and an artist or between themselves and the subject of a painting.
  • Students research a specific piece and compose a VoiceThread, Keynote, or Prezi to communicate the information. Questions could include: Who is the artist? How does this piece compare to her/his other works? When was it made? Why was it made? Was it commissioned? If so, by whom? When was it installed or displayed? Was it part of a larger artistic movement? How did people respond to the piece then and now?
  • Team with the art teacher and/or technology specialist for a “What am I?” project. Have students use digital cameras to take pictures of an object in the school or community – this could be images of anything, from a windshield wiper blade to bristles on a paintbrush. One image is of a small detail of the larger object, the other image is of the entire object. Each student writes a descriptive piece to accompany the detail image that explains the texture, color, shape, etc. Then, students share the detail image along with the written description. Other students (teachers, parents, etc.) try to determine what the object is and where it would be found.