Vangoyourself image Bowes Museum
VanGoYourself
a lesson plan inspired by the VanGoYourself website

KS3 & KS4 English
Pupils should be taught to:
• Speak confidently and effectively, including through:
• Improvising, rehearsing and performing play scripts and poetry in order to generate language and discuss language use and meaning, using role, intonation, tone, volume, mood, silence, stillness and action to add impact.


Learning Objectives
Pupils will:
• Develop their performing skills and techniques.
• Create their own piece of original drama in response to a historical source.
• Evaluate the success of their work for an audience

Suggested Classroom Activity

The VanGoYourself film shows Year 9 pupils recreating seven European paintings from the Bowes Museum collection. Show the group the film.

Ask them which recreations of the original paintings work best and why.
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Suggested Classroom Activity cont...

Look at the selection of six VanGoYourself paintings available to download from this page.

Either in groups or individually ask them to choose a painting to recreate.

Ask them to analyse their chosen painting.

• Who is the subject?
• Are they rich or poor?
• What was the purpose of the painting?

From that analysis ask them to write a short script for what happened immediately after the moment portrayed in the painting.

Judith Beheading Holofernes
By: Caravaggio Merisi (1571-1610)
Created: 1598–1599, Collection: Galleria Nazionale d'Arte Antica at Palazzo Barberini,Rome, Italy
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Suggested Classroom Activity cont...

Pupils put themselves in character and recreate poses and expressions before a photograph is taken. Pupils may choose to recreate the works in a modern style.

Once the photograph is taken the pupils should then perform their script “What happened next”. If possible film each performance for evaluation.





Amsterdam Orphan Girls
By: Nicolaas van der Waay (1855-1936)
Created: End of the 19th century, Collection: Amsterdam Museum, Netherlands
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Suggested Classroom Activity cont...

The evaluation of the performance should consider:

• How successful was the recreation of the painting.

• How similar were the recreation of the facial expressions and poses?

• How effective were the pupils in going into and out of pose?



The Last Supper
By: Leonardo da Vinci (1452-1519)
Created: 1494-1498, Collection: Fondazione Federico Zeri - Università di Bologna, Santa Maria delle Grazie in Milan, Italy
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Suggested Classroom Activity cont...

• Did the script illuminate an aspect of the painting that otherwise we might have missed?

• How well was the script performed?

• How was it received by the rest of the group?

All the images are available via links from this teachers page and you can also see how others have recreated these paintings on the VanGoYourself site Vangoyourself.com. (Culture Street is not responsible for the content of external sites however we only link to sites we trust)


The Lute Player
By: Frans Hals (1582-1666)
Created: 1623-1624, Collection: Rijksmuseum Amsterdam,
Amsterdam, Netherlands
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Suggested Classroom Activity cont...



Portrait of a Goldsmith
By: Werner van den Valckert (1585-after 1635)
Created: 1617, Collection: Rijksmuseum Amsterdam,
Amsterdam, Netherlands
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Suggested Classroom Activity cont...



Madonna and Child
By: Ambrogio Borgognone (1465-1525)
Created: 1500-1523, Collection: Rijksmuseum Amsterdam,
Amsterdam, Netherlands
Development Activity

To develop this activity further you could go to the Vangoyourself website and take part in the wider European project. At this stage you should further consider photo consent issues as this site is public.
Vangoyourself.com.

Resources, Notes and Links

Film: ‘Vangoyourself at the Bowes Museum’.

Download this lesson plan here