Lesson Plan: Peter Rankin's Paintings

Use the book, "Making Room" by Joanne Taylor - ISBN-10: 978-0887766510


Visual Arts Primary-3, Outcome 2:

Students will examine a range of artworks from diverse cultures and communities,   including Acadians, African Nova Scotians, Gaels, and Mi’Kmaq  with respect and sensitivity.



Students will recognize themes from Gaelic culture as represented in an artist's work.


Suggested time

1 hour


Anticipated Outcomes

Students will

  • Recognise expressions of Gaelic culture (i.e. milling frolics) as represented in an artist's work.
  • Investigate the values of the artist and those of the Gaelic community in work.



  • Inform students that while "Celtic" artwork, such as knots, are referenced when speaking about Gaelic-speaking peoples, the Gaels of Nova Scotia do not have any signature pieces of art that represent them culturally.  Instead we will look at how Gaels depict their own experiences within the culture.
  • Look at some of Peter Rankin's artwork.  What time period are the illustrations set in?  Is the setting rural or urban?  What cultural performances to we recognize?
  • Read the book "Making Room" by Joanne Taylor, illustrated by Peter Rankin (ISBN-10: 978-0887766510)
  • What scenes, colours, etc appear often as themes?  Are the illustrations realistic?
  • Illustrate a fond memory that we have.


Review and Reflection

  • Talk about our illustrations.  What does it say about what we value?  How are our illustrations similar to or different from those of Peter Rankin?