Friday, January 8, 2016

Using Art in Language Learning

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This following post has gotten a ton of traffic on my site. I am sharing it again along with some added resources and ideas...

As a language teacher, any time you can mix culture with language skills you up the amount of learning in your lessons. Last year with one of my most advanced students I started printing off interesting pictures for us to discuss in Spanish. It then occurred to me that we could do the same activity with the great works from various Spanish/Hispanic artists. Not only will my students get exposed to beautiful artwork, but they will also be able to practice their speaking skills.

In order to set up this activity you need a set of questions you can use with any painting and copies of the art itself.  Below you will find a free printable in Spanish of questions you can ask your students in order to get them talking about different paintings. As far as collecting the art you want to use here are several options:
  • You can also use art books to show pictures. 
  • You can print them from the web. Here is my pinterest board on teaching art and Spanish. It contains lots of paintings, and I plan on adding more. 
Here is a list of artists/paintings I am planning on using:

  • Diego Velázquez {Las Meninas/Tres Músicos}
  • Fernando Botero {La Menina,/Terremoto en Popayan}
  • Alejandro Xul Solar {Cuidá y Abismos,/Vuell Villa}
  • Joan Miró {La Finca,/Caballo, Pipa y Flor Roja}
  • Pablo Picasso {El Guitarrista Viejo/La Sopa}
  • Diego Rivera {Cargador de Flores/Zapata}
  • Oscar Tintaya {More modern Bolivian artist with typical scenes of that area}
  • Salvador Dalí {La Persistencia de la Memoria}
  • Raúl Soldi {Sarita}
  • Joaquín Sorolla y Bastida 

Here is the free printable with questions you can use to discuss the paintings.

Another item that I have found helpful is to discuss color theory with my advanced students. This page has a great color wheel in Spanish to help you do that!

Here is a Diego Rivera painting lesson. How cool would it be to do this in Spanish with your students?

Here are some resources for younger kids:

¿Quién fue Pablo Picasso?

Xul Solar. Arte para chicos -I haven't bought one of these yet, but the title intrigues me. So many times you have to screen art that is appropriate for children. I am wondering if these would do that for you.

Antonio Berni. Arte para chicos

Frida- A biography for younger kids.

Diego- A bilingual biography for kids


  1. muchas gracias por compartir tu trabajo.Me encanta!
    isabelle (isla de la Reunion)

  2. Yo soy profe de arte y español y este me interesa mucho. Gracias