This segment is about the value of conducting research to enhance the legitimacy of a work of art or piece of writing. Artist Joel Babb relates his use of research in order to increase the historical accuracy of his work.

Time: 45-50 minute period


  • Students will formulate questions, based on a piece of art work, for research.
  • Students will summarize information from a variety of sources.
  • Students will distinguish between primary and secondary sources of information.

Common Core State Standards for English Language Arts:

  • W.CCR.4 Produce clear and coherent writing in which the development, organization, and style are appropriate to task, purpose, and audience.
  • .CCR.6 Use technology, including the Internet, to produce and publish writing and to interact and collaborate with others.
  • W.CCR.7 Conduct short as well as more sustained research projects based on focused questions, demonstrating understanding of the subject under investigation.
  • W.CCR.8 Gather relevant information from multiple print and digital resources, assess the credibility and accuracy of each source, and integrate the information while avoiding plagiarism.
  • W.CCR.9 Draw evidence from literary or informational texts to support analysis, reflection, and research.

Maine Learning Results Visual and Performing Arts Standards:

  • D1 Aesthetics and Criticism
  • E2 The Arts and Other Disciplines

Segment Vocabulary:

historical accuracy, study
Word Wall





Prior to viewing:

Display the following definition from Merriam-Webster:  careful or diligent search; the collecting of information about a particular subject.  Next, ask students to identify the word that is being defined, “research.”  Ask them: Why should research be important to a writer? Explain that the segment will provide examples of how research is important to artists as well as writers.

View the Research segment (2 minutes) Click on image below to view the video segment


The Narrator ends the segment by referring to the On the Wall: Haiku 6 photograph by Weng Fen and asking “What kind of research can we do to better understand our picture of the wall?” and “…what else might give you some insight into the photo?” Discuss with students how they would approach researching this image and what resources they would use.


Writing Through Art Activity:

Research and Essential Questions


Display the specific image(s) students have been writing about. Tell students that they will be completing a mini-research activity that where they will investigate and find answers to their own questions. Provide students with a research organizer, such as the one below, to be used for each question they are researching:

Type of Source: : Primary or Secondary?
Information Collected from Source:


Ask them to write at least three questions that they have about the image. For example, questions might include wanting to know more information about the artist, the details in the picture, the dimensions of the painting, what other paintings/photographs the artist has completed, etc.

Mapping questions

Next, ask them to think about where they might find answers to their questions. Provide students with suggestions of where to begin, such as Marvel. Once we know what images students will have to choose from, we may be able to add more specific suggestions here.

Ask students to add the information they collected from their research to their written piece about the specific image.


Note: If students created a Venn Diagram to compare and contrast art and writing in the first segment, revisit the diagram and make any necessary additions or corrections based on this segment.

 For a mini-research project, have students review the Bates Museum of Art’s online slideshow, Landscapes of Maine:  Then and Now and select one of the pieces to investigate further.  Students should examine the painting or photograph and develop five questions they have about the piece or artist.  Questions might include wanting to know more information about the artist, details in the picture, the dimensions of the painting, what other paintings/photographs the artist has completed, etc.  For example, in Delbert Dana Coombs’, Near the Lewiston Fairgrounds painting, students might research to find the name of the river depicted in the scene or what the fairgrounds might have looked like circa 1897.  Or for Neil Welliver’s, Light in Brook, painting they might research to find details about Welliver and his accomplishments. Provide students with a research organizer, such as the one in the Procedure section above. After students complete their research they could create a VoiceThread, Prezi or Keynote where they share their findings.

Link to teacher inspired lessons:

Creating Keynote and Powerpoint presentations

Creating art projects with iMovie





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