Paul Revere's Ride: Another Look

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SWBAT analyze Grant Wood's depiction of Paul Revere's Ride.

Big Idea

Why do you think Grant Wood painted this picture the way he did?

VTS: Analyzing an Artist's Message

25 minutes

Today students, lets start with a discussion about Paul Revere.  Tell what you know about him and his famous midnight ride.  Let's follow our discussion norms so that everyone's voice is heard and so we can build on facts and ideas presented.

Led a discussion of what students know about Paul Revere.  This will be a great time for the students who have read about him to start the conversation.  Repeat what students say, clarifying their ideas and facts.

After the discussion, say, " Now I want to show you a famous painting of Paul Revere's Ride.  It was painted in 1931 by Grant Wood. Grant Wood also painted the famous picture titled American Gothic one year before.  (Show)  

I'm sure many students are familiar with American Gothic, so I want to show it to contextualize the activity and support students as they analyze Paul Revere's Ride.  Say, "Give me a thumbs up if you have ever seen this painting.  O.K. Great, many of you have. Now let's look at this painting Grant Wood made one year later, in 1931.  Show picture.

We are using our Visual Thinking Strategies to talk about what is going on in this picture and what you see that makes you think that.  So let's start there:  Whats going on in this picture?  What do you see that makes you say that?

Process the picture in this way eliciting a literal interpretation form students. Allowing 5-10 students to comment on what they think is going on.  Then say, "Now students, I want you to think about Grant Wood's artistic style and choices that he made.  Talk about that.  What do you notice about his style and choices?  Tell me why you think he made the choices he did.