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Activity 3

The Wild West of nature and man

Group 1: Dusky prairie

Sunset of the Prairie, Albert Bierstadt, 1863.
Sunset of the Prairie, Albert Bierstadt, 1863.


  • impressionistic (adj.)
  • light-coloured (adj.)
  • lonesome (adj.)
  • nostalgic (adj.)
  • peaceful (adj.)
  • silent / quiet (adj.)
  • soothing (adj.)
  • wistful (melancholic) (adj.)
  • dusk / twilight / sunset (n.)
  • prairie / meadow (n.)

Group 2: King of the prairie

The Wagon Boss, Charles Marion 
Russell, 1909.
The Wagon Boss, Charles Marion Russell, 1909.


  • domineering (adj.)
  • proud (adj.)
  • self-assured (adj.)
  • cattle raiser (n.)
  • horse rider (n.)
  • be in charge of (v.)
  • go / move forward (v.)
  • lead / guide (v.)
  • look back (v.)
  • ride a horse (v.)

Group 3: The prairie forever

Cloud World, Maynard Dixon, 1925.
Cloud World, Maynard Dixon, 1925.


  • bright (adj.)
  • colourful (adj.)
  • idealized (adj.)
  • insignificant / meaningless (adj.)
  • joyful (adj.)
  • motionless (adj.)
  • stylized (adj.)
  • tiny (adj.)
  • out of proportion (adv.)
  • bigger than life (exp.)
Voir les réponses

a. Take a close look at all three paintings. What impressions or feelings do they convey? Which one do you prefer?

Pair up with one student whose favourite painting is the same as yours. Why do you like this painting?

How is man’s relationship with nature depicted?

To what extent does the title of the painting help to interpret it?

Useful vocabulary: My favourite painting is...
Indeed… In fact, what I like in it is...
This painting conveys (+ feelings)... / strikes me as…
Man and nature seem to... / Man relates to nature as…

Let's talk this out!


Share your findings with your classmates  and learn about the other paintings.

What is common? What is different in the various paintings?

Which one do you prefer now that you have studied all of them? Why?

Useful vocabulary: Whereas in the painting by…, in the painting by…
In both paintings, we can see…
Actually now my choice has changed…
I still prefer the painting by…
Now I like it even more…

From French to English


La traduction de « sentir »

  • appreciate, sense (impression, implicite)
  • feel (impression physique)
  • smell (parfum, odeur)
  • experience (sentiments, émotions)

Exercices p. 146

Let's learn!


In groups of four, make a sentence using one word from each of the three toolboxes. It goes on until everyone has spoken and all the words have been used.

Over to you!

Podcast it! Experiencing and representing the Frontier

Let’s use what you have learnt in
Activity 3

Explain what the artists’ vision of the prairie and the Frontier are. Two art experts are interviewed about these paintings.

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