Using a painting to inspire writing

In English, we used a painting at the end of last term to inspire some writing. The painting was An Experiment on a Bird in the Air Pump by Joseph Wright. The children had to take on the role of one of the participants in the painting and write the scene from their point of view. Here’s Mimi’s writing – can you guess whose point of view she’s writing from.

I shaded my eyes. In front of me was a beautiful cockatoo, and this worm scientist was going to suffocate it. I was so disgusted, I felt like I would bring up my dinner.

I was going to scream “STOP!” but as I started to shout, Father covered my mouth and pulled me back.

“Respect your elder’s Penelope.” Father whispered. The evil scientist glared at all of us with his lightning blue eyes.

“Ladies and gentlemen, we gather here for a special event….” I covered my ears to block him out; instead, I looked over at my older sister, Madeline, and rolled my eyes. She and Noah were gazing into each other’s eyes (as always. I’m surprised she even sleeps at night not staring into the hazelnut eyes of Prince Charming). How ghastly. It makes me want to vomit at the thought.

I gazed over at my little sister, Elizabeth. She looked incredibly frightened, but she was ever so curious, so she locked her eyes on the bird, not knowing what would happen next. I held on to her as the scientist slowly pumped the air out of the cockatoo.

My eyes were going blurry and I was tearing up. I needed to get out. I felt my anxiety getting stronger and stronger. My throat started to close up while I choked on my tears. The cockatoo slowly grew motionless as the air was stolen from the glass prison.

Father smirked as the cockatoo slowly suffocated. I stomped on his foot in rage. How could he smile when such a beautiful bird is being murdered?

Father glared at me, and saw how pale I was. But he just grabbed my wrist and pulled me out of the wine cellar.

“Penelope! How dare you! You cannot stomp on my feet! I don’t know what has gotten into you! Go to your room!” father was full of rage, and I knew that if I didn’t hurry, I would get the cane for sure.

I ran up the stairs, and it all felt as if I was in slow motion. Suddenly, I stumbled back, unable to breathe, and collapsed down the grand staircase.


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