Overview: In this two-day unit, learners will translate text from the narrative “A Very Old Man With Enormous Wings” by Gabriel Garcia Marquez into a visual interpretation.


They will be introduced to both a former and a contemporary ink artist and each of their techniques incorporating wash and line. They will understand the concepts of both visual atmosphere and the objective language of a visual illustration.  


Big Idea: The Danger of a Single Story. 

a. Key Concepts

  • Mood, Imaginary Spaces

  • Atmosphere

  • Descriptive, Objective words

  • Detail, Line


b. Essential Questions

  1. How can you create the mood of your text through value and atmospheric language?

  2. What does the place in your text look like? What imaginary space do you visualize?

  3. How can you create a sense of atmosphere through diluting your ink in various ways?

  4. What detail are you choosing to incorporate to illustrate the nouns in your text?

  5. How can you experiment with thickness of line to illustrate different objects within your text?


Rationale: This unit will help the students continue their English class’ dialogue of emphasized visuals and will help them to translate the text their reading through an artistic lens. 


Target Student Group: 9th grade honors English class, urban, Thomas Jefferson High School 


Cultural Responsiveness: This unit is introducing students to artwork from both the Western world and the non-Western world. Its is emphasizing the idea of not forming any one opinion about a certain word, story or culture, however.


Specific Unit Objectives

• Students will be able to translate literal textual language into visual language

• Students will understand how different tones can create certain moods

• Students will learn the properties of line versus the properties of wash

Arts Intergrated Unit, 9th Grade

The Danger of a Single Story