Vincent van Gogh Film Adaptation

Renowned for his paintings, Vincent van Gogh also understood the power of language. He once stated, “It is not the language of painters, but the language of nature which one should listen to.” Delving into the creative palette of language, ESN students recently put vocabulary into motion through a collaborative project. Students read the biography of Vincent van Gogh in their Reading & Vocabulary textbook, and then brought the pages to life through a film adaptation.

Students first identified the key events of Van Gogh’s life and teased out the central characters and setting to create a film narrative and storyboard. In pairs, students created a different scene based on each of the timeline events. The students then embedded the newly acquired words into dialogue. Each scene was separately acted out, filmed, and then edited together by one of the students who added a unique touch to the final product.

Although van Gogh’s life was tragic, the students were able to put a light spin on the story, infusing it with their own interpretation and artistic direction. This autonomy and project-based learning approach encouraged students to become familiar with the vocabulary.   The experience of collaborating on a project also helped enhance communication skills and showed students not only the role of language in describing Van Gogh’s life, but also how it can enrich their own lives professionally and personally.

If you made a short film about the key events in someone’s life, who would you choose? Tell us by commenting below!



renowned (adj.) – famous, known by many people

delve (verb) – research, explore

palette (noun) – plate where artist’s keep their colors while making a painting

tease out (idiom) – to remove something by untangling

storyboard (noun) – a film outline made by drawings for scenes, p.o.v. (point of view), and camera angles

autonomy (noun) – independence