Middle School French: En Plein Air

Spotted outside Gilman’s Middle School: a group of impressionist artists working en plein air on a perfectly crisp fall day. Middle School modern languages teacher Pam Abruzzo tells us what was happening.

By Pam Abruzzo
Modern Languages Teacher
Middle School 

The French C students studied the period of art known as Impressionism. They focused on the lives of many artists from the French Impressionist time period and selected a celebrated French Impressionist painter to research. These included: Monet, Degas, Renoir, Manet, Morisot, Cassatt, Van Gogh, Gauguin, Toulouse-Lautrec, Cézanne, Matisse, Pissarro, Sisley, Rodin, Seurat.

The students used their iPads to research biographical information and samples of their Keynote presentations worked well for this project. Each oral presentation contained major events in the life of the artist, examples of the important works of the artist, an explanation of any art terms used, and at least one criticism or interpretation of the artist’s work. The presentations had to be a minimum of three minutes but no more than five minutes.

After all presentations had been made, the students were given drawing boards, found a spot outside of the Gilman Middle School, and were asked to create oil pastel representations of their artist’s work. We enjoyed reinventing our own “Place du Tertre” de Paris. DSC_0032
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DSC_0037As a culminating activity, the boys will be visiting the Baltimore Museum of Art in December to view masterpieces from this period in person.

(All photos courtesy Don Abrams)


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