These activities are based on a painting in our Victorian Gallery called Ship on Fire by Alfred Montague.
As soon as you are shown the painting for the first time, write down your initial thoughts about it. You have 20 seconds to do this.
Don’t think too long about it, just write down the first thoughts that come to you.
You don’t have to write in full sentences for this, just a list of words and phrases will do.
Share these with the class.
In groups or pairs, have a go at answering the following questions:
You will be given an image of the painting.
Write a paragraph describing the scene as if it is the first page in a novel.
Remember, first paragraphs need to draw the reader in from the very first line, and make them want to keep on reading. With this in mind, you need to make your writing dramatic and compelling.
Write a poem based on the painting. Think about how you can bring out the drama of what is happening. The words you use here will be important. Remember, it could be a conventional poem which uses rhyming words or a free verse which doesn’t.
The choice is yours.
Draw a picture of what the next scene might be. In the painting, the sailors have abandoned the burning ship and are in the sea, awaiting rescue. What happens next? At the bottom of your picture, write down a description of what is happening in your picture.