Reflection: Joy Surrealistic Art and Grammar?!?: Kush, Sentence Combining, and Narrative Writing - Section 4: Kush-based Narrative


Student Example Note.  Here is one student example in draft form... showing that giving students choice and letting them pursue interests can really be an engaging thing to do.  This student chose and Edward Hopper piece that is hanging at the Art Institute of Chicago.  I really like how the writer plays with the idea of being in the painting and not being aware of it.  Pretty exciting stuff!



Phillies Cafe


    Everytime I look at this photo, I wonder to myself, what is that man in the black hat and suit doing? He just sits there watching the man and women talk with the worker. I want to know his story. I stare and stare at the painting hoping for an answer, I get nothing. I try to look at it from a different angle, nothing. Try to think what I would do if I was him, nothing. I remember my art teacher telling me that you have to lose yourself in the picture to fully understand it. I try and try so hard to just lose myself, nothing. I then just begin to stare. Stare deep into the man, to the worker, to the couple. I stare into the building and the lights the are creating shadows. I stare into the sidewalk, the lovely light grayish blue sidewalk with shadows from the cafe. Then I find myself looking at my shoes with the grayish blue sidewalk underneath it. My shoes? How did they get there? Then I realized how close the cafe is. I’m In the painting! I look up and they people in the cafe are as lively as can be. I tip toe to the door around the corner for the people who are viewing the painting won’t notice me. I slowly open the black squeaky door and step inside. The man and the women are talking about the latest run for government ballet with the worker.

“Hutson doesn’t know what he’s talking about.” the man says, “We need a major in this town that knows what’s good for the community and not just him.” I walk over by the the man in the black hat and suit and take a seat.

“Hello there young lady is there anything I may get you?” He must not know he’s part of a painting. If he knew he would know I shouldn’t be there.

“Uh, water please.” I say when I sit next to the man in a black hat and suit. The man shifts over a little the the left away from me. He seems very tired and it looks like he’s drinking a whiskey. I just stare at him, it doesn’t seem to bother him. I look into his lost face when the waiter puts the glass of water in front of me. I’m pretty thirsty even though all I did was walk into a painting. I drink more than half of the water in one sip and slam the glass down. The worker looked at me and then continued to wipe off some dishes.

I begin to look back at the man who still has no interest in me staring at him, when suddenly the worker begins to speak, “So Charlie, what are you doing here at this late hour?” The man’s name is Charlie, it suits him.

“It’s been a long day in the office, needed to get a quick drink before I get home.” Charlie says looking up from his drink.

“Long day, huh? It is taxing season.” The worker says in a funny tone.

“Oh yes sir, it’s indeed tax season. Worst time of the year. You have no idea how many people don’t know anything about taxes. If I had to drink one bottle of beer for each person, I’ll be drunk in at least 5 minutes.” Charlie answers back. I’m glad he is just tired and not depressed. He’s joking around so that’s a good sign.

“Well, I’ll have to get home in the next 5 minutes or the wife will start to worry, see you later young pale.” Charlie states when getting himself together and walking out the door.

“See you next time Charlie!” the worker replies in a louder tone because Charlie is already halfway out the door. I begin to stand up when i reach in my pocket and all i have is a dollar to pay for my drink. I begin to set it on the counter when the worker say, “Oh ma’am don’t worry about that, water is on the house.”

“Oh, why thank you.” I reply with a smile. When I walk out the door I just stare at the cafe. It is such an interesting place. I suddenly smell something very good. I close my eyes and take a deep breath in. When I open my eyes, I realized that I’m back in the real world looking at this small painting with the the couple, the worker, and Charlie the man in the black suit and hat. I begin to look around to see if anyone has notice something different with the painting, but everyone is just looking around at other art pieces. I look back at the painting and just realize how amazing it is to lose yourself in a painting once and a while. 

  Student Work
  Joy: Student Work
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Surrealistic Art and Grammar?!?: Kush, Sentence Combining, and Narrative Writing

Unit 10: Writing about Art: Exploring Image and Linguistic Connections
Lesson 4 of 8

Objective: SWBAT write engaging narrative by writing about a piece of surrealistic art; by completing a grammar puzzle focusing on commas and sentence structure.

Big Idea: It is exciting to enter into the dreamworld of surrealistic art and to narrate possible pathways.

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