Thomas Sully: Become Inspired

Using The Woodgatherer by Jules Bastien-Lepage, challenge students to create their own descriptive poem inspired by the painting. Have students:

  1. Start by listing colors the artist used in the painting. How would you describe these colors? Write descriptive names for the colors. For example, if one of the colors is green, is it forest green, light green, or mossy green?
  2. List at least five descriptive words inspired by the painting. These words might describe the setting, the colors, the landscape, the characters, or the action.
  3. Finally, write a line in your poem that answers at least one of the following questions: What do you hear, feel, smell, and see? Where might this place be? Who are these people and what are they doing? How might it feel to be there?

As you write your poem, include words from your list of descriptive colors and words. Sentences can be broken up into two lines to change the rhythm of the poem, and words can repeat throughout the poem. Remind students that there are many ways to write a poem!