English teaching resources: Amazing art, expressing impressions and feelings

Two hands with yellow paint

English level: B2/C1 (Intermediate/Advanced)

Topic: Amazing art.
Objective: To be able to express impressions and feelings regarding art.


A lesson about art, is normally appropriate for students at an advanced level of TEFL training. You can tell the students to bring a copy/print out/photo of their favourite piece of art, or you (as a teacher) can choose one yourself and copy it for the students.

The first part of the class would be about teaching and practise the use of vocabulary when describing and talking about art.

Activity 1:

Moving on to the structure and grammar part of the lesson, you could introduce subject questions like: “Who painted/built/designed/drew/made/took….?”

Activity 2:

Have the students in groups of three asking and answering these questions about their pieces of art.

Activity 3:

You then introduce the expressions, “It makes me…./They make me feel + adjective”
“This picture shows……”

Activity 4:

You put the students in different groups, and they will be practising these new expressions, using their pieces of art. Remind the students on activating the vocabulary you have taught and practised in the beginning. It´s a good idea to be close to the students and monitor this activity, so you get an idea of what words they use/don´t use, if they use the expressions properly, and help them getting it right.

Activity 5:

Having finished this activity, you tell the students to pay attention to the following expressions,
“In the foreground….”, “In the background…”, “at the top…”, “at the bottom….”, “in the (bottom/right/left) corner….”. To make sure the students understand the meanings, you can use a painting or a photo/picture, point and demonstrate while students are taking notes.

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Woman with paint in her face

Activity 6:

Now you tell the students to pair up and practise these new expressions. While monitoring, you should make sure that the students use the correct prepositions. If they seem to be confused about this, stop the activity and emphasise the importance of using these prepositions properly, and then you start the activity again.

Activity 7:

The last portion of this would be to introduce these types of expressions,
“He/she/it looks” + adjective/” you /we/they look” + adjective

Activity 8:

In groups of 3, the students apply these last expressions, discussing the pieces of art of the group members.

Man admiring a ceiling

Activity 9:

Students can individually write a paragraph about their piece of art, using all the expressions (or most of them) that have been taught and practised in the lesson. The students should also try to apply the vocabulary of the lesson in this paragraph.

These expressions can confuse even those English language learners who have moved on to a B2/C1 level. They want to use these expressions correctly as they feel awkward when they get funny looks from their native English-speaking friends. You as their Trinity College CertTESOL trained teacher can help. We´ll tell you how it’s done.

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Header picture from Maxpixel.