One Piece Art Style Comparison Essay

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Lesson Plan

Creative Communication Frames: Discovering Similarities between Writing and Art


Grades6 – 8
Lesson Plan TypeStandard Lesson
Estimated TimeThree 50-minute sessions
Lesson Author




Modest Petrovitch Moussorgsky (1839-1881) wrote, "Art is a means of communicating with people, not an end in itself." In this lesson, students explore art as communication by first viewing and discussing a painting from various perspectives, and analyzing the painting's purpose, audience, form and function. During a real or virtual trip to an art gallery, students use a graphic organizer to record detailed observations about paintings they see, viewed from multiple perspectives. After discussing their observations, they identify a corresponding literary term for each of the terms used to analyze the art form. They then use an online tool to compare how the process of writing is similar to the process of creating art. Finally, they use their ideas to write a compare and contrast essay.

Though these activities were designed to compare writing with Impressionism, they could be adapted to any art form.

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Comparison and Contrast Guide: This online tool outlines the characteristics of the genre and provides direct instruction on the methods of organizing, gathering ideas, and writing comparison and contrast essays.

Compare & Contrast Map: This interactive graphic organizer enables students to organize and outline their ideas for different kinds of comparison essays.

Observation Guide: This handout prompts students to record detailed observations of an Impressionist painting.

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In her article describing a class project student poetry inspired by art, Honor Moorman describes her motivation: she had "become increasingly aware of the similarities between the visual and the verbal arts. William Blake said that poetry and art are "ways to converse with paradise" (Farrell 6). In the Phaedrus, Plato observes that when paintings and poems are put together, they "seem to talk to you as if they were intelligent" (qtd. in Foster and Prevallet xv). Indeed, both poetry and art speak to our imaginations through the power of images. Georgia Heard calls language "the poet's paint" (65), and many other writers and artists have commented on the parallels between these two modes of expression." (46-47) This lesson capitalizes on the natural connection between language and art, asking students to compare expression through language to expression through art.

Further Reading

Moorman, Honor. "Backing into Ekphrasis: Reading and Writing Poetry about Visual Art." English Journal 96.1 (September 2006): 46-53.

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Students read a wide range of print and nonprint texts to build an understanding of texts, of themselves, and of the cultures of the United States and the world; to acquire new information; to respond to the needs and demands of society and the workplace; and for personal fulfillment. Among these texts are fiction and nonfiction, classic and contemporary works.



Students adjust their use of spoken, written, and visual language (e.g., conventions, style, vocabulary) to communicate effectively with a variety of audiences and for different purposes.



Students employ a wide range of strategies as they write and use different writing process elements appropriately to communicate with different audiences for a variety of purposes.



Students apply knowledge of language structure, language conventions (e.g., spelling and punctuation), media techniques, figurative language, and genre to create, critique, and discuss print and nonprint texts.



Students conduct research on issues and interests by generating ideas and questions, and by posing problems. They gather, evaluate, and synthesize data from a variety of sources (e.g., print and nonprint texts, artifacts, people) to communicate their discoveries in ways that suit their purpose and audience.



Students use a variety of technological and information resources (e.g., libraries, databases, computer networks, video) to gather and synthesize information and to create and communicate knowledge.



Students develop an understanding of and respect for diversity in language use, patterns, and dialects across cultures, ethnic groups, geographic regions, and social roles.



Students whose first language is not English make use of their first language to develop competency in the English language arts and to develop understanding of content across the curriculum.



Students participate as knowledgeable, reflective, creative, and critical members of a variety of literacy communities.



Students use spoken, written, and visual language to accomplish their own purposes (e.g., for learning, enjoyment, persuasion, and the exchange of information).


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Resources & Preparation


Grades   3 – 12  |  Student Interactive  |  Organizing & Summarizing

Comparison and Contrast Guide

The Comparison and Contrast Guide outlines the characteristics of the genre and provides direct instruction on the methods of organizing, gathering ideas, and writing comparison and contrast essays.


Grades   3 – 12  |  Student Interactive  |  Organizing & Summarizing

Compare & Contrast Map

The Compare & Contrast Map is an interactive graphic organizer that enables students to organize and outline their ideas for different kinds of comparison essays.


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  • Provide choices of non-print media for student viewing (field trip to local gallery, or prepare a classroom "gallery" of prints).

  • Preview URLs for art resources and virtual tours.

  • Prepare student handouts-a guide for viewing and comparison.

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Instructional Plan


Students will

  • demonstrate proficiency in using the writing process.

  • make connections between prior knowledge and new information using prewriting strategies.

  • write in response to a self-selected example of nonprint media, demonstrating an awareness of purpose, audience, voice, and style.

  • note relevant information using listening and visual literacy.

  • synthesize information in order to produce a piece of writing that demonstrates an understanding of comparison, analogy, and metaphor.

  • use a variety of technology and multi-media resources.

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Session One

  1. Display a print from one of the Impressionists (Monet, Renoir, Manet)—The painting could be selected from one of the virtual galleries found in the Resources section.

  2. In a large group brainstorming session, note and record details of what the students see at a distance. Select several students to study the painting closely, making verbal observations that are recorded.

  3. Repeat with several others viewing up close. Again in large group, discuss differences noted when painting is viewed closely. Discussion becomes more specific as students use the handout to record specific details.

  4. Discuss different perspectives from distant and close viewing.

  5. Now shift the discussion to identifying ways in which writing a scene or description is similar to painting:

    Author's Word Choice

    Artist's Brushstrokes, Color, and Medium Selected

    Author's Point of View

    Artist's Perspective

    Author's Purpose

    Artist's Purpose

    Author's Main Idea

    Artist's Subject

    Author's Setting-time, place

    Artist's period, time, place

  6. Use the Comparison and Contrast Guide to introduce basic characteristics and strategies for comparing items.

  7. List words writers use to help readers understand similarities and differences when two concepts are being compared. Small groups can develop word lists then combine into whole class working word bank. (Examples: compare, contrast, metaphor, analogy, alike, similar to). Work bank should be entered in students' journals for future reference, or transcribed to the computer and printed out.

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Session Two

  1. The class may be viewing a virtual museum or on a field trip to a local gallery.

  2. Ask students to use the "close, distant, close again" to examine pieces of art, and record their observations based on the terms identified in the previous session.

  3. After individuals or partners complete their viewing and analysis, meet as a whole group for debriefing, sharing what was observed.

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Session Three

  1. Discuss the art in general terms of analogy and metaphor. Seek examples of specific paintings and how they demonstrate communication of an idea or feelings. Develop a literary term for each of the terms used to analyze the art form.

    Title _________________
    Artist_________________ (Author)
    Time painting was done __________________(setting)
    Brushstrokes _______________ (words,genre,style)
    Lines ______________________ (style, form)
    Colors______________________ (word choice, style)
    Shadings ___________________ (inferences)
    Shadows ____________________ (inferences,opinion)
    Perspective _________________(point of view, bias)
    Focal Point _________________(point of view)
    Background __________________ (setting)
    Subject of painting _____________ (main idea)

  2. Discuss this as a prewriting framework. Talk through, verbally model, how these ideas can shape a discussion of art as a means of communication, comparing the similarities between writing and painting-both the artist and the author are portraying an idea, images, a story, and/or an opinion.

  3. The students will use this framework to express their thoughts about ways in which the process of writing is similar to the process of creating art, using the transitional, comparative vocabulary developed for the class word bank.

  4. Introduce the Compare & Contrast Map, and demonstrate how students can use the online graphic map to organize their ideas.

  5. Using examples from the nonprint media they have studied, and perhaps examples from literature, ask students to write a compare and contrast essay. Allow time for them to revise, edit, and type their essays.

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Impressionism was inspired by the music of Modest Petrovitch Moussorgsky who translated Russian literature into musical genres. Understanding of the similarities between the creative processes of composition—writing, art, and music—could be assessed through extended synthesis, after listening to Moussorgsky's "Pictures at an Exhibition" (Maurice Ravel's 1922 orchestration). Student responses could be noted through contributions to a large group discussion or reflective journal entries (written or drawn).

The students' written responses to the painting (or other art form) can be assessed with a rubric based on:

  • their use of transitional and comparative words (e.g. alike, similar to, close to, both, also, not only, therefore, consequently, next, in fact, still, besides, finally, furthermore, consequently).

  • their inclusion of literary terms applied to the non-print media (see previewing and prewriting handouts).

  • evidence of careful editing and proofreading.

Students could be given the option to demonstate their understanding by creating an original art form—computer generated, mixed media, musical piece or mix, etc.—accompanied by a written piece that could be used as a gallery print release about a "newly recognized artist". The written piece would address the artist's perspective/point of view; choice of media; purpose; focual point/main idea; and technique. These pieces could develop into a classroom or school exhibit—a form of publication.

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Related Resources


Grades   3 – 12  |  Student Interactive  |  Organizing & Summarizing

Comparison and Contrast Guide

The Comparison and Contrast Guide outlines the characteristics of the genre and provides direct instruction on the methods of organizing, gathering ideas, and writing comparison and contrast essays.


Grades   3 – 12  |  Student Interactive  |  Organizing & Summarizing

Compare & Contrast Map

The Compare & Contrast Map is an interactive graphic organizer that enables students to organize and outline their ideas for different kinds of comparison essays.


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Grades   1 – 8  |  Calendar Activity  |  August 10

The Smithsonian Institution was founded in 1846.

After exploring an exhibit online, students use the information they learned to write "A Day in the Life" narratives that tell about a person, animal, or object they saw in the exhibit.


Grades   5 – 12  |  Calendar Activity  |  November 28

Poet William Blake was born in 1757.

As a class, students brainstorm abstract concepts and personify that concept through a drawing or story told about the character who personifies that concept.


Grades   3 – 12  |  Calendar Activity  |  April 26

The Spanish town of Guernica was bombed on this date in 1937.

After showing students Picasso's Guernica, they are provided with background information, share their impressions, and write about Picasso's purpose in creating the painting.


Grades   5 – 10  |  Calendar Activity  |  October 25

Artist Pablo Picasso was born on this day in 1881.

Students view a Picasso piece, write their impressions, and share. Students can create their own Picasso-style art using the interactive Picassohead.


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Writing Essays in Art History


These OWL resources provide guidance on typical genres with the art history discipline that may appear in professional settings or academic assignments, including museum catalog entries, museum title cards, art history analysis, notetaking, and art history exams.

Contributors:Margaret Sheble
Last Edited: 2016-03-01 09:17:11

Art History Analysis – Formal Analysis and Stylistic Analysis

Typically in an art history class the main essay students will need to write for a final paper or for an exam is a formal or stylistic analysis.

A formal analysis is just what it sounds like – you need to analyze the form of the artwork. This includes the individual design elements – composition, color, line, texture, scale, contrast, etc. Questions to consider in a formal analysis is how do all these elements come together to create this work of art? Think of formal analysis in relation to literature – authors give descriptions of characters or places through the written word. How does an artist convey this same information?

Organize your information and focus on each feature before moving onto the text – it is not ideal to discuss color and jump from line to then in the conclusion discuss color again. First summarize the overall appearance of the work of art – is this a painting? Does the artist use only dark colors? Why heavy brushstrokes? etc and then discuss details of the object – this specific animal is gray, the sky is missing a moon, etc. Again, it is best to be organized and focused in your writing – if you discuss the animals and then the individuals and go back to the animals you run the risk of making your writing unorganized and hard to read. It is also ideal to discuss the focal of the piece – what is in the center? What stands out the most in the piece or takes up most of the composition?

A stylistic approach can be described as an indicator of unique characteristics that analyzes and uses the formal elements (2-D: Line, color, value, shape and 3-D all of those and mass).The point of style is to see all the commonalities in a person’s works, such as the use of paint and brush strokes in Van Gogh’s work. Style can distinguish an artist’s work from others and within their own timeline, geographical regions, etc.

Methods & Theories To Consider:







Social Art History

Biographical Approach


Museum Studies

Visual Cultural Studies

Stylistic Analysis Example:

The following is a brief stylistic analysis of two Greek statues, an example of how style has changed because of the “essence of the age.”  Over the years, sculptures of women started off as being plain and fully clothed with no distinct features, to the beautiful Venus/Aphrodite figures most people recognize today. In the mid-seventh century to the early fifth, life-sized standing marble statues of young women, often elaborately dress in gaily painted garments were created known as korai. The earliest korai is a Naxian women to Artemis. The statue wears a tight-fitted, belted peplos, giving the body a very plain look. The earliest korai wore the simpler Dorian peplos, which was a heavy woolen garment. From about 530, most wear a thinner, more elaborate, and brightly painted Ionic linen and himation. A largely contrasting Greek statue to the korai is the Venus de Milo. The Venus from head to toe is six feet seven inches tall.  Her hips suggest that she has had several children. Though her body shows to be heavy, she still seems to almost be weightless. Viewing the Venus de Milo, she changes from side to side. From her right side she seems almost like a pillar and her leg bears most of the weight. She seems be firmly planted into the earth, and since she is looking at the left, her big features such as her waist define her. The Venus de Milo had a band around her right bicep. She had earrings that were brutally stolen, ripping her ears away. Venus was noted for loving necklaces, so it is very possibly she would have had one. It is also possible she had a tiara and bracelets. Venus was normally defined as “golden,” so her hair would have been painted. Two statues in the same region, have throughout history, changed in their style.

Compare and Contrast Essay

Most introductory art history classes will ask students to write a compare and contrast essay about two pieces – examples include comparing and contrasting a medieval to a renaissance painting. It is always best to start with smaller comparisons between the two works of art such as the medium of the piece. Then the comparison can include attention to detail so use of color, subject matter, or iconography. Do the same for contrasting the two pieces – start small. After the foundation is set move on to the analysis and what these comparisons or contrasting material mean – ‘what is the bigger picture here?’ Consider why one artist would wish to show the same subject matter in a different way, how, when, etc are all questions to ask in the compare and contrast essay. If during an exam it would be best to quickly outline the points to make before tackling writing the essay.

Compare and Contrast Example:

Stele of Hammurabi from Susa (modern Shush, Iran), ca. 1792 – 1750 BCE, Basalt, height of stele approx. 7’ height of relief 28’


Stele, relief sculpture, Art as propaganda – Hammurabi shows that his law code is approved by the gods, depiction of land in background, Hammurabi on the same place of importance as the god, etc.


Top of this stele shows the relief image of Hammurabi receiving the law code from Shamash, god of justice, Code of Babylonian social law, only two figures shown, different area and time period, etc.

Stele of Naram-sin, Sippar Found at Susa c. 2220 - 2184 bce. Limestone, height 6'6"


Stele, relief sculpture, Example of propaganda because the ruler (like the Stele of Hammurabi) shows his power through divine authority, Naramsin is the main character due to his large size, depiction of land in background, etc.


Akkadian art, made of limestone, the stele commemorates a victory of Naramsin, multiple figures are shown specifically soldiers, different area and time period, etc.


Regardless of what essay approach you take in class it is absolutely necessary to understand how to analyze the iconography of a work of art and to incorporate into your paper. Iconography is defined as subject matter, what the image means. For example, why do things such as a small dog in a painting in early Northern Renaissance paintings represent sexuality?  Additionally, how can an individual perhaps identify these motifs that keep coming up?

The following is a list of symbols and their meaning in Marriage a la Mode by William Hogarth (1743) that is a series of six paintings that show the story of marriage in Hogarth’s eyes.

  • Man has pockets turned out symbolizing he has lost money and was recently in a fight by the state of his clothes.
  • Lap dog shows loyalty but sniffs at woman’s hat in the husband’s pocket showing sexual exploits.
  • Black dot on husband’s neck believed to be symbol of syphilis.
  •  Mantel full of ugly Chinese porcelain statues symbolizing that the couple has no class.
  • Butler had to go pay bills, you can tell this by the distasteful look on his face and that his pockets are stuffed with bills and papers.
  • Card game just finished up, women has directions to game under foot, shows her easily cheating nature.
  • Paintings of saints line a wall of the background room, isolated from the living, shows the couple’s complete disregard to faith and religion. 
  • The dangers of sexual excess are underscored in the Hograth by placing Cupid among ruins, foreshadowing the inevitable ruin of the marriage.
  • Eventually the series (other five paintings) shows that the woman has an affair, the men duel and die, the woman hangs herself and the father takes her ring off her finger symbolizing the one thing he could salvage from the marriage. 


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