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Pick two pieces of art that share a common theme or subject and have students identify commonalities and/or differences between the two.

Unlikely Pairs: Fun with famous works of art by Bob Raczka is a great book to get you started. You can buy it on Amazon used for two dollars. Here’s the link: http://www.amazon.ca/Unlikely-Pairs-Bob-Raczka/dp/0761329366/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1325947733&sr=1-1

Here are some guiding questions that might help your students compare and contrast:

  • When was the art created? (When, where and by whom?)
  • What materials were used?
  • What techniques were used?
  • What is interesting about the subject or the content?
  • What is the art meant to do? (Consider function and purpose)
  • What is important about the art in its context (e.g. cultural, political and economic)
  • What is interesting about the form of the art? (Abstract or realistic, geometric or organic shapes)
  • What is interesting about the composition of the art? (Size, scale, elements and figures, proportions, details)
  • What does the art make you feel?
  • What is the meaning or idea behind the art?
  • Does the art represent or symbolize something?
  • Is this art created to explore a problem? What’s the problem?
  • What was the artist’s intention when he or she created the art?
  • What do you think the work means?
  • What does the image communicate?
  • What does it mean to you personally?
  • What is its mood?
  • Is the subject matter incidental or is it a vehicle for social, religious, moral or political content of either artist or client?
  • Is it the subject imagined, remembered, or observed directly?
  • What is this work’s cultural context?