ON THE TWENTIETH CENTURY – THAT WAS THEN, THIS IS NOW (GRADES K-12)
- To compare the lifestyle changes between then and now
- To write descriptions of the people and places evident in the paintings
- Show students prints of Rockwell illustrations that depict American life in the 20th century.
- Discuss how NR would use his friends and neighbors to model for him.
WWII ON THE HOMEFRONT – THE FOUR FREEDOMS
An analysis of the images Rockwell painted to describe Roosevelt’s “Four Freedoms”, and a brief history of the impact these paintings had on America.
Tell the class about the speech Roosevelt made during WWII in which he described four freedoms — freedom of speech, freedom from want, freedom to worship, and freedom from fear. His point was that these freedoms should […]
GOING AND COMING (1947)
Quick Pic Activities
1. Getting in Touch With Our Senses
Pretend you are standing somewhere in the painting—situated in the car or as a bystander watching it go by. Describe in detail what you can see, hear, smell, touch or taste from the location you chose
High School/Middle School
1. Make Rockwell’s Characters Talk
If two of the characters in Norman Rockwell’s Going and Coming painting […]
STORY SPARKS (GRADES: 6-12)
Use Norman Rockwell’s Post covers to spark creative writing.
Rockwell is known as The Saturday Evening Post’s most famous illustrator. He submitted his first successful cover painting, “Mother’s Day Off”, to the Post in 1916. Over the next Forty-seven years his work appeared on the cover a total of 323 times. Each cover that he created tells a story. Through his work, he presents images of everyday life in America, childhood, civil rights, war, and […]
GOSSIP (GRADES K-8)
Build writing skills and language skills as you speculate on what the characters in Rockwell’s The Gossips are talking about.
Rockwell had the idea for The Gossips for 20 years but couldn’t come up with the ending. Then he had the idea to picture himself as the subject of the gossips’ circle; suddenly he knew what to draw. He used his neighbors in Arlington, Vermont as the other figures in the painting. […]
GOING AND COMING (ELL)
Tell short stories inspired by Rockwell’s work.
This painting was done for “The Saturday Evening Post” and depicts a family before and after their summer vacation. Rockwell’s Post covers were intended to present a story that was easily “read” and understood by viewers. In this painting he uses two images within one picture to provide more detail and create a continuum of time. We see the “before” and the “after” of the […]
FREEDOM OF SPEECH (GRADES: 6-12) Explore voting rights as you investigate, Rockwell’s freedom of speech.
Rockwell was inspired to paint this scene after attending a town hall meeting. In the meeting a manual laborer stood up and voiced an opinion that everyone disagreed with. Rockwell was struck by the fact that no one shouted him down even though he did not agree with the majority. Rockwell felt this scene embodied the democratic process and was […]
FOUR FREEDOMS (GRADES: 6-12)
Discuss personal freedom as you explore Rockwell’s “Four Freedoms.”
In January 1941 President Roosevelt, shared with congress his vision for a postwar world founded on four fundamental human freedoms: freedom of speech, freedom of worship, freedom from want, and freedom from fear. Inspired by his words, Rockwell created “Four Freedoms.” Originally published in the Post the paintings were a huge success and were later used to sell war bonds and stamps. The […]
BE A MODEL (GRADES K-8)
Build descriptive language skills as you pretend to be Norman Rockwell directing a model.
In paintings like this we can see that Norman Rockwell was really good at capturing the thoughts and feelings of children. To help him do this he had real children pose for his illustrations. Sometimes they had to stand for long periods of time in very uncomfortable poses. Later the job got a little bit easier. […]
WHAT’S THE HEADLINE (GRADES: 6-12)
Investigate the Invasion of Normandy as you explore Rockwell’s painting, “War news”.
Rockwell never finished this painting but it was intended for The Saturday Evening Post. Painted in January or February of 1944 about the proposed invasion of Normandy, it depicts a restaurant counterman with his costumers as they gather around listening to a radio report. What was the news of the day? If Rockwell had finished the painting […]
Build writing skills, media literacy, and civic responsibility as you explore ways that Jerry Pinkney helped to diversify children’s literature.
Common Core State Standards (CCSS) Goals:
- Write arguments to support claims in an analysis of substantive topics or texts, using valid reasoning and relevant and sufficient evidence.
- Present information, findings, and supporting evidence such that listeners can follow the line of reasoning and the organization, development, and style are appropriate to task, purpose, and audience.