Spanish Surrealism Lesson Plan: Point of View Writing

Submitted by: Lori Langer de Ramirez

Grade Levels: 6-8, 9-12

In this multi-day lesson plan, which is adaptable for grades 6-12, students use BrainPOP resources to explore the Spanish surrealist movement. Students will view examples of paintings by Salvador Dali and Joan Miro, as well as short films by Luis Bunuel. They will learn the process for writing a point of view paper based on one of the characters in the art they have viewed by writing an essay. Students then participate in an oral presentation by sharing their characters in a “guess who” game/presentation with their classmates.

Lesson Plan Common Core State Standards Alignments

Students will:

  1. Students will explore the Spanish surrealist movement by viewing examples of paintings by Salvador Dali and Joan Miro, as well as short films by Luis Bunuel
  2. Students will learn the process for writing a point of view paper based on one of the characters in the art they have viewed by writing an essay
  3. a “guess who” game/presentation with their classmates.

Materials:

Vocabulary:

surrealism, point of view, theme, idea, imagery, symbolism, dreams, psychology

Preparation:

If possible, upload images of Dali and Miro paintings and stills of Bunuel films to your interactive whiteboard before the lesson. Check all the links to images/videos and have them cued up and ready for each portion of the lesson. Students will be writing in journals for the project. They can either use traditional pen and paper journals, or create a blog journal online using a free blog site such as Blogger, EduBlogs, or ClassBlogMeister.

Lesson Procedure:

  1. Watch the BrainPOP en Espanol movie, El Surrealismo or the BrainPOP movie Surrealism.
  2. DAY 1: The Surrealist Art and Film of Dali, Miro y Bunuel
    To complete Day 1, do steps 1-6.
    Begin by sharing images of paintings by Dali and Miro and stills from Bunuel’s films.
  3. DAY 3: Writing
    Students should be given time in class to write and prepare their oral presentation.
  4. DAY 4: Writing and Peer Editing
    Students should be given time in class to write and prepare their oral presentation. They should also take part in peer editing and conferences with the teacher to fine tune their writing/presentations.
  5. DAY 5: Guess Who? A Parade of Characters
    Each student should present their character as the class tries to guess which character is being described. Students can ask yes/no questions (as in the game “20 questions”) in order to help them guess. Both the essay and oral presentation graded with a rubric.
  6. For a Spanish-speaking class, watch BrainPOP movies Pre-Escritura: El Tema and Pre-Escritura: Las Ideas.
  7. Allow students some time to brainstorm themes and ideas for their writing.
  8. For homework, have students start the rough draft for their essay. They should also start planning their oral presentation.
  9. Students will be required to write one essay and give a one-minute oral presentation from the point of view of their character to play a “guess who” game by giving hints about the character (i.e., I am melting. I am in a tree. I can tell time.)
  10. Tell students that their task for the week will be to choose one object or character from a work of surrealist art by either Dali, Bunuel or Miro and write/speak from the point of view of that character. For example, in Dali’s famous work “The Persistence of Memory”, a student could choose to write from the point of view of one of the melting clocks. They might write about how the clock feels as it is melting, what it sees in the rest of the painting, etc.
  11. If your class is Spanish-speaking, have students watch the BrainPOP Espanol movie Punto de Vista and take the quiz as a class after viewing.
  12. DAY 2: Exploring the Writing Process
    To complete Day 1, do steps 7-13.
    Begin by reviewing the previous day’s lesson by sharing/discussing excerpts from the students’ homework blog responses to the art and article.
  13. As a class, brainstorm words and phrases relating to surrealism and/or the images viewed in class.
  14. For homework, have students read the Wikipedia article on Surrealismo or Surrealism and write a journal entry reaction to the article and/or the images viewed in class.
  15. In small groups, brainstorm reactions to the images. What images remain with you? What images do you notice repeated in the art? Which images did you like best and why? Which ones didn’t you like and why?
  16. Take the quiz as a class on the interactive white board or projected computer screen after viewing.

Extension Activity:

After learning about surrealism, students might try their hand at creating their own work of art in the style of Dali or Miro using oil or acrylic paint. They could create a short film in the style of Bunuel using a digital movie camera and editing software like Windows Movie Maker. After creating their work of surrealist art, have students describe their process and the symbolism to the class. *Note: This thematic unit was designed for level 4 or 5 students of Spanish as a foreign language (but will work just as well in English).