Resource Menu: English & Language Arts

Resource Menu: English & Language Arts

Need help finding what you are looking for? Take a look at our Resource Menus; an annotated list of VMFA resources organized by subject area. Here is a curated menu of easily accessible selected offerings relating to English and Language Arts.

Grade Level:
Adult, College, Grades 3-5, Grades 6-8, Grades 9-12, Grades K-2
Subject Area:
English, Fine Arts, Visual Arts
Activity Type:
Resource Menu

Resource Menu: English & Language Arts

The VMFA website offers many resources to support learners and teachers of all ages and many disciplines. Many are accessible through VMFA’s LEARN website. 

There are also valuable offerings on other sections of the website. This annotated list will help you locate the best matches for English and Language Arts teachers. 


LESSON CONCEPT: OBSERVATIONAL POETRY: We can look at art to analyze and interpret the ideas at play; we can also use art as a prompt for creativity; but these two things don’t have to be mutually exclusive. Use this simple creative writing exercise to help students collaboratively use creative thinking in tandem with critical thinking as they make meaning from abstract artworks.

NARRATIVE ART: WHAT IS YOUR STORY?: Shared narratives can be found in art from many cultures and throughout time. Use this resource to encourage students to explore diverse narratives, discover their own personal narrative, and express that narrative through their own work of art.

The goal of this resource is to provide strategies to facilitate students’ exploration of narrative art. Using works from VMFA’s collection, students will learn how to discover the stories communicated in works of art and experience the shared human experience often expressed in these works. This process will lead students to write a personal narrative and then create their own narrative artworks.

Please adapt these strategies and select works that make sense for your curriculum and classroom. While this lesson incorporates a few specific works from VMFA’s collection, the strategies modeled can be used for any narrative work of art.

Create a Personal Narrative: Planning Form: This planning form was created to support the Narrative Art: What is Your Story? lesson and can be used to guide students in writing personal narratives. 

Illustrate Your Story: Planning Form: This planning form was created to support the Narrative Art: What is Your Story? lesson and can be used to guide students in creating narrative illustrations.

Create a Graphic Novel Style Artwork: Planning Form: This planning form was created to support the Narrative Art: What is Your Story? lesson and can be used to guide students in creating graphic novel style artworks that share a personal narrative.

FROM QUESTION INTO MONOLOGUE: Artworks can offer the opportunity to consider things from a different perspective. Artists are intentional about how to depict people alone or in groups. Spending time to look carefully at the expressions, body language, and contextual clues in figural artworks can help students consider ideas about identity, community, and belonging.

UNLIKELY PAIRINGS: CONVERSATIONS THROUGH ART: Use this resource to help students explore the human experience across time and place, give voice to diverse perspectives found in art, and collaboratively reimagine a museum that presents a new story centered around our shared human interactions.

Conversations through Art: Who Am I? Worksheet

Conversations through Art: Explore and Create Worksheet

Conversations through Art: Reimagine a Museum Worksheet

ART MEETS LITERATURE: AN UNDYING LOVE AFFAIR: This resource features a selection of nine works of art from the collections of the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, chosen by nine museum curators. Each art selection is accompanied by an original poem, written by one of nine award-winning poets.

Engagement Activities


LOOKING TO LEARN: TEN TIMES TWO: Use this activity to help learners slow down and make careful, detail-oriented observations. By encouraging them to push beyond what is noticeable at first glance, this activity promotes discovery and enriches inquiry-based discussions.




WRITING TO LEARN: HAIKU: Use an artwork as a prompt for a haiku poem.

WRITING TO LEARN: WORDS IN THEIR MOUTHS AND THOUGHTS IN THEIR HEADS: Use speech and thought bubble templates to activate critical thinking and inspire learners to creatively consider different points of view.


WRITING TO LEARN: NARRATIVE: Using an artwork as a prompt for a narrative, learners activate their imaginations while practicing their observation and synthesizing skills.