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Developing Language Through Art

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I have a couple of students with me at the moment, and one would like to plan some activities to develop children's language through art. It's not one of my strengths, and I've come up with:

1) angry/happy lines, etc

2) Looking at artists' work and leading discussions around them

3) Talking about texture in collages.

4) Listening to music and creating art simultaneously, developing vocabulary etc.


Has anyone got any exciting ideas? :)

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They all sound like good ideas to me Helen. I think that all art activities develop language in one way or another. Your student could either approach this by deciding what art experience she is going to plan and identifying the language that is likely to be developed from the activity, or she could observe them in a self-directed activity and analyse what language they are using.

In any activity there would be specific vocabulary like the tools they are using, the materials and the colours, shapes, textures, size, technique, however simple the vocabulary used. Then there is language specific to the art subject, nouns describing whatever it is. There is also the language they will use when communicating with the adult or other children, negotiating, answering questions, describing what they are doing etc.

With young children could they look at the work of Guiseppe Acrimboldo who made those paintings of faces made out of fruit and vegetables? Then the children could make thier own using real fruit and veg and take pictures of faces they make. This can be left as an enhancement in the Art area, and the use of language become part of the observation to see if the language planned for is what they use. They could develop this by being encouraged to draw or paint what they have done, although it might be too difficult for very young chidlren, or alternatively developed by using the fruit and vegetables for simple printing.

I'd find something to either link with your theme, or that arises out of something the children are interested in there are just so many possibilities.

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Have you got either the little book of science thru art or messy play? Both of these have some brilliant art/creative experiental (my buzz word for the following term) activities, focusing on the 'doing' rather than the end product and some good examples of language to be developed/encouraged

Posy x

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Thanks so much for your ideas; brilliant :D

I love the idea of creating faces out of fruit and veg and taking photos of them.


And yes, I have got the Little Book of Science through Art and I'd completely forgotten about it! Thanks for reminding me....it's spot on :)

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hi there thanks for putting that link to west sussex but am having problems opening it from said link. I ve tried visiting the website but cant find the activity... any help would be appreciated :o

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