Teaching Ideas

Encouraging Dialogue

For Students K-12

  • Have you ever been on a trip? What mode of transportation did you use? What did you like or dislike about it?

  • When this painting was made, there were no cars or airplanes so people had to travel long distances by boat. Have you ever traveled by boat? What was it like?

  • This painting shows a group of travelers on a journey across the English Channel (a part of the Atlantic ocean separating England from France). Depending on the distance, boat trips could last days, weeks or even months. How do you keep yourself entertained on long car rides or airplane trips?

  • What are the different people in the painting doing during this trip?

  • To keep themselves entertained, the passengers held a dance on the deck of the ship (find the harpist and guitarist), but the rocking of the boat appears to have upset the dance.

Making Connections

For Students K-12

  • The artist, François-Auguste Biard, includes many different characters in this painting who all respond to the journey in different ways. Ask students to choose a person from the painting and imagine what they are thinking and feeling with a poem.