T e a c h e r  C r e a t e d  L e s s o n

Emily Carr




Emily Carr is an important figure in Canadian art history. She is celebrated as one of Canada’s most loved and admired female artists. Much has been written about Carr’s life and art, both interesting and exceptional.

In an open-classroom debate discuss the following statements:

1. Agree or disagree with the following statement about Emily Carr’s painting, Shoreline:

“The artist’s presence is felt intensely throughout, yet her energy appears indistinguishable from the energy of nature itself. Every brush stroke expresses a joy in the harmony of all living things.”1 

2. Agree or disagree with the following statement by researching about Emily Carr’s life and by comparing and contrasting Shoreline with other paintings by the artist:

Shoreline epitomizes Carr’s triumph over both personal and artistic obstacles.” 2

The class will be divided into small teams of two to four students. Each team will follow these instructions:

  • Choose one of the above statements;
  • Research the details of Emily Carr’s life and art;
  • Prepare to criticize or defend the chosen statement vis-à-vis an opposing team; and
  • Present your findings in a twenty-minute open classroom debate.
  • To build a case, the team is not restricted to evidence about the artist. Critical analysis of the work of art, a study of elements and principles of design, and aesthetic theories of art may be useful as well.

Research Tips

  • Begin your research with information you find in Emily Carr’s Statement, Biography, and Interpretation provided in Art!Facts.
  • Look for specific terms, dates, names, locations, and titles. Record your evidence as you find it. Note key details in point form.
  • Expand your research. Go to the library and search for printed material (books, magazines, or newspapers) about Emily Carr and/or use a computer for information posted on the Internet. Select a search engine and do a key word search on your computer. Use the information that you have collected about Emily Carr from Art!Facts to perform your search. Bookmark helpful web sites. Record new facts that will support your argument.
  • Triple-check your information and sources to make sure that it is correct.

1 David Wistow, "Emily Carr," The McMichael Canadian Art Collection (Kleinburg: The McMichael Canadian Art Collection, 1989) 133.

2 David Wistow, "Emily Carr," The McMichael Canadian Art Collection (Kleinburg: The McMichael Canadian Art Collection, 1989) 133.

Scott McDonald

© 2006, McMichael Canadian Art Collection. Reserved.
Learning Object Collection: Art!Facts
Learning Object: Emily Carr
Institution: McMichael Canadian Art Collection