Teaching Ideas

Encouraging Dialogue

For Students K-12

  • What do you notice in this painting?

  • What parts of the tiger can we see?

  • What parts do we not see?

  • What else do you notice about the tiger?

  • How would you describe the tiger?

  • Imagine you can hear the tiger. What kind of sound do you think it might make?

  • Above the tiger are examples of Japanese writing in black and red ink. Do you know what this type of writing is called? Calligraphy is a skill that is considered a very important art form in Japan. It is read downwards, from right to left. The word calligraphy means "beautiful writing."

  • The red calligraphy symbol near the top of the scroll is the artist’s trademark seal and is the symbol for “fish.” If you were to choose your own symbol, what would it be and why?

  • This work of art is called a scroll. The Japanese word for a scroll painting is kakejiku. Kakejiku often display scenes from nature along with Japanese calligraphy. Do you recognize any of the materials the artist used to create this scroll?

  • This scroll painting demonstrates the importance of empty space in the Japanese aesthetic, or style. The artist purposefully placed the tiger in an empty background rather than a traditional habitat. Careful attention is paid to creating balance between the visual imagery (picture) and blank space, which is considered space for the imagination. Allow your imagination to fill in the rest of this scene. What do you see? What do you smell? What do you hear?