Kim Hoa TRAM
Pine with cranes dancing in the snow, dance in motion 2000
ink and pigments on paper
137.1 x 69.2 cm (image and sheet)
National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne
Purchased through the NGV Foundation with the assistance of The Marjory and Alexander Lynch Endowment, Governors, 2001
2001.586
© Kim Hoa Tram

Pine with cranes dancing in the snow, dance in motion, 2000 by Kim Hoa Tram

An Art Start Literacy Activity

Language Starter Activities

Teacher Notes

Refer to our handy Glossary of Literary Terms for definitions and examples
Read our Art Start The Art of Language Introduction
Look through the Art Start Image Bank
Where not otherwise stated these activities can be undertaken by students in pairs, small groups or individually, depending on the teachers' individual curriculum requirements.

Group Activity: LOOKING

  • What atmosphere is communicated in this painting? Find one descriptive word that has the power to evoke it.
  • Make a class list of words that describe the characteristics of winter the painting reveals.

Synonym Challenge

  • Name and list all the things that you can see in the painting.
  • Now write a brief paragraph describing the painting without using any of words from the list.

Guess What I Am Activity

Teacher Notes

Nominate one student to lead the class through this activity. He/she chooses an object from the painting and calls out an adjective or simile to describe it. The class responds with their guesses as to what is being described. The student continues until the correct object has been guessed.

Senses and Emotion Activity

  • Imagine you have stepped into the painting. What do your senses reveal?  Complete these sentences individually and then share with the class:
    (List four things for each line)
    I can see…………………
    I can smell ……………………
    I can feel………………..
    I can taste …………….

Expanding Description Activity

Teacher Notes

This activity requires that students have access to the poem Be Specific by Mauree Applegate.
It is available at: http://idiocrasiesoflanguages.blogspot.com/2007/10/be-specific.html

  • Find a copy of the poem Be Specific by Mauree Applegate.
  • Practise reading it aloud expressively, individually or in pairs, emphasising the descriptive language.

Adverbs Activity

Find three adverbs to describe movement in the painting. For example: The cranes danced delicately, daintily or elegantly.

Clever Comparisons Activity

  • Great art and writing often contain starkly opposite concepts that create dynamism and tension to captivate the viewer or reader.
  • Construct descriptive phrases that explore opposite concepts by making detailed comparisons.  For example: Smooth, gentle snow compared with the rough texture of the tree trunk. Fragility of the crane compared with the power and solidity of the tree.

Personification Activity

  • Imagine the pine tree as a person.
  • Write a sentence explaining what the tree might think of the cranes’ dance. For example: The ancient tree smiled down on nature’s theatre, wishing he had the agility and grace of the dancers.

Alluring Alliterations Activity

  • Finish the  alliterative phrases:
     Cavorting cranes …………
     A silvery stage………..
  •  Now create more phrases using as many letters of the alphabet as starting points as you can.

Music and Art Matchmaking Activity

  • In pairs, suggest a particular piece or type of music that would describe the atmosphere and elements of the painting.
  • Explain to the class why your suggested music matches the painting. 

Responding to Art Writing Projects

Teacher Notes

Students discuss the messages, meanings and mood of Pine with cranes dancing in the snow, dance in motion, 2000.
This project requires as background information:

POETRY

Poetry is like art – it allows us to see something in a different way. Its impact can be powerful and immediate.

“A poem is a painting that is not seen;
A painting is a poem that is not heard”
Phoebe Hesketh, A poem is a Painting, Page 7, Picture Poems, Benton, M and P, Hodder and Stoughton, 1997

  • Using this quote as a starting point, discuss and document ways in which art and poetry may be similar.

Poetry with a Format

Teacher Notes

Working with a format can be a non-threatening way of starting to write poetry for students who haven’t written in this genre before.

Rondelet Poetry Activity

  • Write a rondelet poem inspired by Pine with cranes dancing in the snow, dance in motion, 2000 and the ideas and descriptions you created in the Language Starters activities.
    For example:
    Silvery light
    In nature’s theatre cranes perform
    Silvery light
    Dancing and diving like a kite
    Bathed in stillness before the storm      
    An ancient tree smiles on the scene
    Silvery light 

Haiku Poetry Activity

  • Write a Haiku poem inspired by Pine with cranes dancing in the snow, dance in motion, 2000 and the ideas and descriptions you created in the Language Starters activities.
  • Write haiku poems about the whole painting, a crane in flight and winter.
  • Find an artwork that describes Spring, Summer and Autumn respectively, and write a Haiku poem for each.

Examples:

Winter
The heart of winter
Frost flowers on my window
A fire burning bright.

Spring
Fluttering slowly
In the dappled morning light
A spring dragonfly.

These poems are by a Middle Years student

Presenting and Performing Projects

Poetry Festival Presentation

  • In small groups prepare and present a poetry festival in a PowerPoint presentation. Include artworks that have stimulated the poetry, appropriate music, poetry written in Writing Projects activities, as well as works by professional poets.

Dance Activity

  • In small groups, create and perform a dance inspired by Pine with cranes dancing in the snow, dance in motion, 2000. Design the dance movements to follow the music suggested in the Music and Art Matchmaking Activity.