Dossier of Discovery: The Artist Who Made It Big.

article by Karen Jameyson , photo by Alamy

Learning intention:

I can understand the purpose of evaluative language so that I can more effectively express my opinions and assessments of things.


Success criteria:

  • I can recognise evaluative language in a text
  • I can work collaboratively to piece together an idea in a comprehensive manner
  • I can use a variety of methods to present the idea with the intention of persuading the audience.


Essential knowledge:

To assist students in understanding what evaluative language is and how we use it, information can be found in the evaluative language definition in the Australian Curriculum glossary.


After reading the article, ask students to identify any evaluative language that the author has used in relation to Claes Oldenburg’s art works. Answers may include:

  • …quirky, unusual and frequently gigantic art sculptures
  • …startling versions of familiar, everyday objects out of unexpected materials
  • …Oldenburg’s efforts really stand out
  • …they are inclined to feel pretty small in comparison
  • Although the artist’s creations are often a form of social commentary, they are funny as well.

View the article Claes Oldenburg’s Most Incredible Sculptures in Pictures and ask students to use evaluative language to discuss the pictures with a partner.

Students should then create their own drawing of a scene that incorporates a sculpture based on the style of Claes Oldenburg. Remind students that this means it should be colourful, bright and much larger than its surroundings. Ideas may include:

  • A giant pencil on the school playground
  • Paint dripping from a giant paintbrush in the middle of the city
  • A giant hot dog suspended from the ceiling of the local shopping centre

Students should then hold a gallery walk to analyse each other’s art works and discuss using evaluative language.