Poetry with Van Gogh’s Starry Night

Welcome to “Poetry with Van Gogh’s Starry Night.” This lesson shows how to use a famous painting to inspire an original poem.


In this lesson, you will learn to:

  • Use a famous painting as a communication tool
  • Guide your partner in visual exploration
  • Use poetry to laugh and play together


Please gather these materials before you start:

  • Image of Vincent Van Gogh’s painting “Starry Night”
  • Bonus: A few leaves of grass
  • Notebook or blank paper
  • Pen/pencil

“I want to share a poem with you by Walt Whitman from his book, “Leaves of Grass,” I will say a line of the poem. Please repeat after me.”

I CELEBRATE myself, and sing myself,
And what I assume you shall assume,
For every atom belonging to me as good belongs to you.
I loafe and invite my soul,
I lean and loafe at my ease observing a spear of summer grass.

Set aside 30 minutes with your care partner for this session.


Please take a moment to review Care for the Caregiver before beginning this lesson.

Individual Steps

You may also watch the individual steps for this lesson. Each of the five steps below will guide you and your partner through the special techniques for this lesson. To make sure you get the most out of this lesson, move through each step in the order they are presented. And remember – have fun!

1. Consciously Breathe

2. Sing & Move

3. Call & Response

4. Create Together

5. Savor the Moment

Written Instructions

Print the entire lesson plan for “Poetry with Van Gogh’s Starry Night.”

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