Yoko Ono: To The Light Exhibition, By Jerry Hardman-Jones, The Serpentine Gallery
ESL Voices Lesson Plan for this post-With Answer Key
In 1966, Yoko Ono created an art piece entitled the “Ceiling/Yes Painting” which entailed viewers climbing a ladder and using a magnifying glass to find the word “Yes” printed on the ceiling. The piece could be interpreted as meaning we should remain positive, (hence the word Yes) and if we look closely (the magnifying glass) the positive is in front of us (just a guess). One thing is certain, Yoko believes everyone should enjoy life.
Yoko Ono, wife of John Lennon (1940-1980) a member of the famous British rock group The Beatles, is still enjoying life and creating her magical art. At age 79, Yoko is currently exhibiting her work entitled “To The Light” at the Serpentine Gallery in London.
“TO THE LIGHT, a major exhibition of the work of celebrated artist Yoko Ono, reflects upon the enormous impact that she has made on contemporary art, exploring her influential role across a wide range of media. This exhibition, her first in a London public institution for more than a decade, includes new and existing installations, films and performances, as well as archive material relating to several key early works.
Ono’s continuing interest in the relationship between the roles of artist and viewer is evident throughout the exhibition.
A number of works in TO THE LIGHT position both artist and viewer as agents of change. For example, a series of instruction pieces written especially for the Serpentine Gallery can be completed physically or mentally by the viewer, while the large-scale installation AMAZE transforms the viewer from the observer to the observed.”
Read more about her various pieces of art and how you can become part of Yoko’s exibition!
Note: Yoko Ono TO THE LIGHT-19 June – 9 September 2012
Level: Intermediate -Advanced
Language Skills: reading, writing, speaking and listening. Vocabulary and grammar activities are included.
Time: approximately 2 hours.
Materials: student handouts (from this lesson) access to news article, and video.
Objective: Students will read the article and generate ideas for creating their own art projects.
I. Pre-Reading Tasks
Directions: Have students use this pre-reading organizer by Scholastic to assist them in finding the main ideas from the reading.
• Pre-reading Discussion Questions
Directions: Have students discuss the following questions in groups then share answers as a class after the discussions. Students can look the answers up on the web if they’re not sure.
1. Have you ever heard of Yoko Ono in your country? If yes, in what context?
2. What is she famous for?
3. Who were the Beatles? Did you like their music?
4. What is the connection between Yoko and John Lennon?
5. What happened to John Lennon?
6. How many members of the Beatles group are still alive today?
II. While Reading Tasks
- Vocabulary-Word Inference
Directions: Students are to infer the meanings of the words in bold taken from the article. They may use a dictionary or thesaurus for assistance.
- To The Light, a major exhibition of the work of celebrated artist Yoko Ono…
- Ono also presents #smilesfilm, a worldwide participatory project that will be exhibited at the Serpentine Gallery…
- Conceived as a way of connecting people across the world, the project invites people to upload and send images of their smiles by hash-tagging #smilesfilm…
- Working as an artist, film-maker, poet, musician, writer, performance artist and peace activist…
- Yoko Ono has influenced generations of artists and received numerous prestigious awards.
- In her prolific career, she has embraced a wide range of media, defying traditional boundaries…
- Born in 1933 in Tokyo, she is a pioneer of conceptual art…
- A large scale participatory project, #smilesfilm reflects her pioneering vision of the power of mass participation.
- Ono’s project at the Serpentine will tap into the transformative potential of the smile…
- Ono associates this transmission of positive energy with healing and peace.
- Reading Comprehension: Fill-ins
Directions: Place students in groups and after they have read the article, have them complete the following sentences taken from the article. They can use the words and terms from the list provided, or provide their own terms. They are to find the meanings of any new vocabulary.
My___in film-making is to make___which includes___snap of every single human being in the world. Of course, I cannot go around___and take the shots myself. I need cooperation…’
Alongside her ___staged inside the Gallery, Yoko Ono ___a site-specific work near the Serpentine Gallery in Kensington Gardens. A___participatory project,___ reflects her ___of the power of mass participation.
Visitors from all over the___ can drop in to a specially-designed ___installed outside the Serpentine Gallery and record their smiles. These images will then be collected to make #smilesfilm, which will be exhibited in a___form on a ___at the Serpentine Gallery and presented globally in ___on a dedicated website, smilesfilm.com, and apps for ___and___.
digital form, #smilesfilm, screen, iPhone, a film, a smiling face, the whole world, exhibition, large scale, ultimate goal, photo booth, pioneering vision, physical, world, iPad, presents,
- Grammar Focus: Identifying Parts of Speech
Directions: Identify the verbs in the following paragraph, then use the words to write a short paragraph about Yoko, art, or any topic relating to this article.
‘My ultimate goal in film-making is to make a film which includes a smiling face snap of every single human being in the world. Of course, I cannot go around the whole world and take the shots myself. Alongside her exhibition staged inside the Gallery, Yoko Ono presents a site-specific work near the Serpentine Gallery in Kensington Gardens. A large scale participatory project, #smilesfilm reflects her pioneering vision of the power of mass participation. These images will then be collected to make #smilesfilm, which will be exhibited in a physical form on a screen at the Serpentine Gallery and presented globally in digital form on a dedicated website, smilesfilm.com, and apps for iPhone and iPad.
III. Post Reading Tasks
- Reading Comprehension Check: WH-question format
Directions: Have students use the WH-question format to discuss or to write the main points from the article.
Who or What is the article about?
Where does the action/event take place?
When does the action/event take place?
Why did the action/event occur?
How did the action/event occur?
- Essay Writing
Directions: Have students choose a topic and write an essay.
- Write an essay in which you describe the art of Yoko Ono. Use some of her examples from the article.
- Yoko states, “ My ultimate goal in film-making is to make a film which includes a smiling face snap of every single human being in the world.” Write an essay in which you explain why such a project might generate positive feelings for people.
- Write an essay describing the Beatles, (e.g., where they came from originally, the type of music they were known to produce, how John met Yoko, etc.).
IV. Listening Activity: True/False Video Clip: Yoko Ono: To The Light Exhibition
“To The Light, a major exhibition of the work of celebrated artist Yoko Ono…This exhibition, her first in a London public institution for more than a decade, includes new and existing installations, films and performances, as well as archive material relating to several key early works.”
Directions: Review the statements with students before the watching the video. As students listen to the video if a statement is true they mark it T if the statement is false they mark it F and provide the correct answer.
- John Lennon described Yoko as the worlds most famous artist.
- DJs have begun playing her music in the past 2 years.
- It was Yoko’s art work that first got her noticed.
- For one piece of art she invited people from the audience to add pieces to her painting of John.
- Twenty years ago conceptual art was not common, so people were shocked by some of her work.
- Yoko states that her life turned out very different from what she expected.
- Yoko credits people for helping her bring her art to the attention of the public.
- The Imagine Peace Tower is a piece of Yoko’s art.
- John Lennon was the second smile Yoko used in her smile art piece. The first was her own.
- People can upload their own smiles to Yoko’s current art work.
• Post-Listening: Questions for Discussion
Directions:Place students in groups and have them discuss the following questions.
- After listening to this video has your personal opinion of Yoko Ono changed in any way? If yes, describe in what way. If no, explain your original opinion of her.
- Did you agree with everything she said? Discuss which comments you agreed with and which ones you tended not to agree with. Explain why.
- With your group members, make up questions that you would like to ask Yoko.
- Group Project
1-Have class members visit smilesfilm.com and add their smiles!
2- In groups, have members create additional ideas for interactive art like Yoko’s.
ANSWER KEY: Yoko Ono
Please come back again.