A Picture Is Worth 1000 Words: Creative Writing

The art of writing has been intertwined with visual art for centuries. The ability to articulate what is in an artwork sharpens skills in observation, communication, and discussion that are so valued in today’s world. In this tour, combine visual literacy with creative writing to expand your horizons in vocabulary, themes, plot, symbols, imagery, and more.

Students practice careful observation while discussing and responding to diverse artworks. This close observation generates descriptive words and ideas that can be used to produce creative writing. The writing activities expand students’ looking process and address state writing standards.


Grades 5–adult


90 minutes


240 visitors

Tour type

Language arts


  • Close looking and observation skills: The main focus of the tour is to facilitate careful looking and observation of the works of art. Students will immerse themselves in the process of looking and truly “seeing” all of the details of the work.
  • Descriptive language and analogy: Students will slow down, look, and describe what they actually see. Docents will guide them through each element of art as they explore the works and help them move beyond simple descriptions to more advanced vocabulary. Docents will also help students make connections with analogy, simile and metaphor by asking, “What else does it remind me of?”
  • Writing: Students will write in response to what they see in the artwork. They will be encouraged to pull inspiration from their observations and use descriptive words to create a written response to the work.

For teachers

Click on a link below to explore tour correlations with Alabama Courses of Study.