Wonder Time ARTS
Wonder Time ARTS

Try #1  Use Art to Foster Story Telling, Then turn it into a Dramatic Tableau








A simple, sure-fire way  to start student chatter about art is asking – The 5 W’s & the H

A Farmers Market Tableau

Students create a frozen living picture to depict a scence. They might create a sequnce of scenes, where the they change and move body then freeze again at the sound of a chime.   I let them reherse a few times then they perform for eachother.  

Student Tableau of Producers & Consumers

K  -  6th Lesson Objective:

Analyze and Interpret the Art’s story.

 Students use their  story interpretations to create dramatic tableaus (Frozen Pictures.)

My Friends the Torroisians selling at Farmers Market

Farmer's Market


 Using this  well-worn writer’s technique called the “reporter’s questions,” or “the 5 W’s and the H” may be just what you need  to start students composing story from  the art work. I  ask these questions tweaking them to fit the art piece and suddenly  viewing a work of art turns into an adventure for the writer!

The 5 W’s and the H are the six questions that  reporters     must answer in  their lead paragraph of a new's story. 


  • Who is involved?
  • Who is affected?
  • Who will benefit?
  • Who will be harmed?
  • Who is there but not seen?



  • What is your topic narrowed down in a simple phrase/sentence?
  • What does your topic involve? (i.e. What are the different parts to it?)
  • What is it similar to / different from?
  • What might be affected/changed by your topic?



  • When does this take place? When did this take place? When will it take place? When should this take place?
  • Does when this takes place affect the topic?



  • Where does this take place? (Where did it …. Where will it … Where should it ….?)
  • Does it matter where it takes place? Is it affected by location?



  • Why is this topic important? Why does it matter?
  • Why do certain things happen? (What are some causes and effects within the topic?)



  • How does this topic work? How does it function? How does it do what it does?
  • How did it come to be?
  • How are those involved affected?
  • How is it making the charactrs feel




Then ask just a Bit More.......

How did the artist use the  elements of art and principles of design?

  • When you close your eyes for 30 seconds and open them, what is the first thing do you see?  Do you think the artist intended this to be the focal point?
  • What art elements do you see?
  • What principle of design do you think the artist was using? Was the artist successful?


There is a recipical relationship here too,  because students can keep these questions in mind when they want to create an art piece that really expresses their stories or ideas.

Teacher Models a short story they create about a piece of art, share how they drew their ideas from the "text." content, based on how the artist used the elements of art, and principal of design, as well as time period and subject matter.

Students take their 5 W's and a H question hand out, and an art piece  to  to go into their collaberative groups to create  their stories Teacher supports the process by asking the group clarifiying questions, and text depenent questions. (The art I select is based on grade and the unit of study they are engaged in at the time)



Asking students also the simple question "What do you notice about this piture." Then asking them to ground their idea with evidence, ask "What makes you think so?

I use a lot of Kagen Strategies in my art room, and I have my students sitting in groups of 4.  It is really exciting to hear them collaberate, challenge each other's ideas and  defend their own. When they come up with a story created together,  it is so very rewarding. 

Students then create a frozen living picture to depict a scence. They might create a sequnce of scenes, where the ty change and move body tthen freeze again at the sound of a chime.   I let them reherse a few times then they perform for eachother.  

Students use rubrics to assess how they are working as a team and moving through the processes, and also a second rubric that evaluates the outcome product of each groups tableaus.

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Mrs. Schellenberg & Young Artists

Ralph Waldo Emerson's  Poem:             Success-     to leave the world a bit better, whether by a healthy child, a garden patch or a redeemed social condition; To know  even one life breathed easier because of you.

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