‘Art and Paintings’ – an online lesson plan for intermediate and higher level learners

Online Lesson Plan (Zoom)

Topic: Art and Paintings             

Level: Intermediate and above


Preparing your learners and helpers before the lesson:

Suggest 5 famous pieces of art from the collection on the national gallery website (see resources) together with a worksheet which contains a table of categories. Learners choose one painting and they study it then complete the worksheet by filling in the different category columns for that painting.  Please tell learners to bring a printed out copy of this table to the lesson.



  • A paintbrush and small palette if you have (or a picture printed out to show)
  • Picture or ‘share screen’ of Van Gogh’s ‘Sunflowers’ painting
  • https://www.nationalgallery.org.uk/paintings/must-sees
    Example suggestions of paintings in above link: (learners can click on the individual painting and read all about them)

        • Sunflowers by Vincent Van Gogh, 1888
        • Bathers at La Grenouillère by Claude Monet, 1869
        • The Battle of San Romano by Paolo Uccello, 1438-40
        • The Ambassadors by Hans Holbein the Younger, 1533
        • The adoration of the Kings by Jan Gossaert, 1510-15
  • Category table for paintings (each learner must bring a copy to the lesson)
  • Small white board and pen


Aims for the lesson:

  • Practise speaking about art and paintings
  • Learn/revise art-related vocabulary
  • Share opinions of the paintings



  1. Lead-in: Show a paintbrush and small palette/or a picture printed out to show/share screen and show an image you have saved.  Elicit what the items are and what they are used for.  Ask some questions to see what learners already know about art.  g. Do you like art?  What kind of art do you like? What medium do you prefer? -painting (oil/watercolour) /sculpture/collage?  What subjects and genres do you like?   (Whole class – 15 minutes)
  2. Presenting the paintings: Show the ‘Sunflowers’ painting and ask questions that relate to the category table e.g. What is this painting called?  Who is the artist?  What is the subject matter/genre/medium? Use the whiteboard/chat box to write up any new words.  Learners may or may not know the answers here (unless they chose this painting beforehand) but you can share them if need be.  Drill pronunciation of new words and write new words on whiteboard or in chat box. (whole class – 15 minutes)
  3. Breakout rooms for practice: Put learners into breakout rooms with a helper in each. Enable helpers to be able to share screen of the paintings being explained.  LL can take it in turns to show their chosen paintings and explain all the categories that they completed beforehand in the table.  Helpers can ask questions to elicit all the information about the painting as in no.2.  Get LL to complete the category table for the other paintings as they listen to their classmates.  (small groups – 20 minutes)
  4. Further practice: bring class together and ask one L which painting they chose. Can they give their opinion of this painting?  Ask another L their opinion of that same paintingThere is no right or wrong answer here, just personal preference.  Choose a different painting and continue in the same manner. (whole class – 10 minutes)

60 minute lesson