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From Field to Studio: The art of Paul Kane - page 34 / 36





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PKI Teaching Guide

Page 34 of 36

Here is another opportunity to see some of the differences between what appears in Kane’s field notes and what makes it into the published book. It is worth referring to supplementary readings 6.1 and 6.2 (click here) for this section as well. Activities:


Guide students as they analyze and evaluate Kane’s writings and explore how facts

can become embellished to tell a good story.


Discuss how embellished stories may be better entertainment for audiences but

sometimes get in the way of the truth and historical accuracy.


Invite students, in small groups, to select an event (e.g., historical, local, or current

event) and embellish a story about the event for artistic effect.

Invite each group of students to tell the embellished story to the class. The students may wish to incorporate drama into their storytelling activity. Following the presentations, discuss the inaccuracies from the actual event, and the possible implications if the stories were to be viewed as historical documentation.


Have students reflect on their learning throughout their exploration of the entire DVD.

Write an essay describing the effects of inaccuracies in the documentation of historical events

and experiences of First Nations and other cultural groups.

Essay Topics

Art History

1) Pick a contemporary First Nations or Métis artist and compare his or her work to Paul Kane’s.

  • 2)

    Discuss Paul Kane as a representative of the Romantic movement.

  • 3)

    Explain how Kane changed his field sketches into paintings to account for the tastes of

his contemporary audience. 4) Pick a nineteenth century artist, such as Jacques-Louis David or Eugéne Delacroix, compare their work with that of Kane. 5) Discuss the changes Kane made between his field sketches and oil paintings.


Junior and Senior History/Social Sciences/Native Studies

6) Research and report on any of the First Nations or Métis communities that Kane encountered in his journeys.

7) Pick a painting (www.paulkane.ca ). Discuss the changes between it and the field sketches. Why did Kane make these changes?

From Field to Studio: The art of Paul Kane

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