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Year 6 continue to debate evidence of strength in our TOP painting

One of the most exciting parts of the Take One Picture project is the way in which the students lead the learning.  An exploration of George Bellows’ paintings resulted in Year 6 wondering why his work seemed to highlight men’s hard physical labour.  They were not the first to notice this - a contemporary critic said at the time of Bellows’ death that he was an ‘adherent of ‘wallop’ in paintings’.  Which led again to heated discussion about the real meaning of strength and masculinity.

Year 6 couldn’t agree whether strength was more evident in the work of boxers or of longshoremen (two groups featured in Bellows’ paintings). The focus this week has been on honing this debate and these discussions into written argument.  Year 6 have enjoyed finding the most convincing ways to persuade others of their point of view, finding reason after reason, choosing effective evidence to support their ideas, rhetorical questions to engage the reader, and emotive language and exaggeration to hammer home their opinions.  The results will be part of the Take One Picture exhibition next week.  

Some Year 6 students were so caught up in the argument that they wanted to give the discussion a more contemporary feel.  In their own time, they created a rap to promote the argument that boxers were strongest.  Given that rap originates from New York, and George Bellows’ paintings are strongly rooted in that city, it feels a very appropriate genre to choose.  It has been really interesting to compare the techniques of persuasion in Year 6’s written arguments and in their rap.  We can’t wait to see where the argument takes them next...

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