Taras Hryhorovych Shevchenko – poet, citizen artist

Конспект урока

Педагогика и дидактика

Equipment: multimedia projector, computers, audio CDs with songs based on Shevchenko’s poems. The classroom is decorated with reproductions of T.H. Shevchenko’s paintings, samples of Ukrainian embroidery and guilder rose (калина). The first slide of computer presentation reads



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2 чел.

Taras Hryhorovych Shevchenko – poet, citizen artist

Інтегрований урок -  з  англійської мови – української літератури із мультимедійною підтримкою та використанням проектної технології (присвячений 150-й річниці з дня смерті поета); містить оригінальні переклади поезій Шевченка учнями

Type of lesson: creating group project


  •  to teach students to work in groups
  •   to develop students’ fluency
  •   to involve students in discussion using their knowledge and individual and group work
  •   to stimulate learners’ creative thinking on the subject and  the ability  to work  independently
  •    to enhance pupils’ interest in Ukrainian literature
  •  to encourage students to learn new vocabulary to introduce  to students the basics  of stylistic analysis of poems
  •   to teach students the etiquette of discussing

Equipment: multimedia projector, computers, audio CDs with songs based on Shevchenko’s poems

The classroom is decorated with reproductions of T.H. Shevchenko’s paintings, samples of Ukrainian embroidery and guilder rose (калина).The first slide of computer presentation reads












Useful vocabulary (is printed in leaflets):

Serfdom, predetermines, a serf, hagiographies, to ransom, to familiarize, the Destiny, to deny, ballads, liro-epic, to depict, to stylize,to expose, rhythmical, iambic tetrameter, trochaic verses syllabic verse, etching creative heritage, incarnation

Abbreviations used in the text:

T –teacher

Gr – group

S –student

/ e.g.Gr1S1 –Student 1 from Group 1/

The Procedure

Teacher’s introductory words:

Today we’re going to round up the  material you’ve prepared at home working in groups. You were supposed to find some information about the great poet, a talented artist and devoted revolutionary T.H. Shevchenko

I. Warming –up

T: 1.First name adjectives and nouns that can characterize T.H. Shevchenko. What associations can you think of when you hear his name?

/Ss name the words: Kobzar, talent, folk songs, paintings, Academy of Fine Arts, soldier, serfdom, patriotism, love for Ukraine, devotion to his Motherland/

T: Then write them down in the first slide of the computer presentation.












T: Well done. Now I’m going to add some Useful vocabulary. You’ve got it in the leaflets: Serfdom, predetermines, a serf, hagiographies, to ransom, to familiarize, the Destiny, to deny, ballads, liro-epic, to depict, to stylize,to expose, rhythmical, iambic tetrameter, trochaic verses syllabic verse, etching creative heritage, incarnation

Brain Storming – ‘ Jumbled surnames’

T: Here are some (sur)names connected with the great Kobzar. Try to make them out. The notes in brackets will help you.

LLBORUB – ………(painter, academician)

OSHESHKO -……….( Ukrainian  painter)

EELHNGGARDT -……….(landowner)

ATHEKANYR -………. (member of T.H. Shevchenko’s family)

Keys: Brullov, Soshenko, Enghelgardt, Katheryna

II.Main part

Gr I S1 Our group had to find some interesting and important facts on the topic “T.H. Shevchenko as a poet”. We’d like to refresh some facts from his life as his biography predetermines his future to a definite extent.

Gr1 S2: T.H. Shevchenko was born on March,9, 1814 in the village of Moryntsi, not far from Kyiv, in the family of a serf.

Tars didn’t like his home.He called it the hell. His mother died because of exhausting work. Taras’ father had to marry a widow. But his life was no much longer than his wife’s. And that was when the real hell began.

Gr I S3: Taras’ outlook was greatly influenced by folk arts. His mother, father, sister Katheryna knew  a lot of folk songs (kolomyyky). The boy was also fascinated by poetic works created by Hryhoriy Skovoroda and Ivan Kotlarevskyi. He was particularly interested in hagiographies.

Gr II S1: Our group had to find some interesting material on the topic “T.H. Shevchenko as an artist”. As for me T.H. Shevchenko was more of an artist than a poet.

He began copying pictures when he was serving to his master (landowner).Among his first works there is a portrait of P. Enghelgardt, of an unknown woman, a set of sketches on historical themes. There’s  a presentation on the screen.

Gr II S2: But the decisive point in his career was meeting Ivan Soshenko in Letnyy Sad ( St Petersburg). The latter introduced him to the members of Ukrainian Diaspora  in St Petersburg.

Gr II S3: Shevchenko began attending the lessons at the Academy of Fine Arts. Then he was introduced to the Ukrainian writer Yevhen Hrebinka, The conference – secretary of the Academy of Fine Arts.He also got acquainted with V.Hryhorovych, O.Venetsianov, V. Zhukovskyi.

Taras’ talent was admitted as an undoubtful fact.So the plan of his ransom was worked out.

The famous Karl Brullov painted the portrait of V. Zhukovskyi and with the money he collected in the lottery the talented young man was ransomed from his landowner.\

Gr III S1: I agree that painting was very important in Taras’ life but the investigation made by our group proves that his civic activities were the essential part of his life. Patriotism, devotion to his Motherland, love to Ukrainian people are the main topics of his poems, prosaic works, paintings and so on. Taras sacrificed everything for the sake of his people.

Gr III S2: I’d like to develop this idea.

The acquaintance with Yevhen Hrebinka accelerated the process of Taras’ national consciousness. It was in Hrebinka’s library where the future poet plunged into the world of revolutionary literature: I.Kotlarevskyi, P.Hulak-Artemovsky, H.Kvitka-Osnov’yanenko and the world of Ukrainiann  folklore and historic works.

Gr I S3: We can’t but mention that acquaintance with V. Zhukovskyi also influenced  role in Taras’ poetic talent. Gradually he began to pay less attention at his artistic work.

Gr II S1: But remember: Shevchenko got silver medals at the Academy of Fine Arts.

Gr I S1: Yes, that proves  the versatility of this outstanding personality.

Imagine that Taras Hryhorovych had chosen the career of an artist. Then our Ukrainian people would have lost the talented poet and a prominent revolutionary.

Gr I S2 You must admit that the Destiny determined correctly that tome.

Gr III S2.I’d like to recollect the fact that the majority of Taras’ verses were inspired by romantic poets.The motives of his early works are nostalgia, the feeling of social estrangement.

Gr I S2: That’s true, his first poems are very similar to the works of all romantics: dissatisfaction with reality, striving for another, ideal world.

Gr I S3: But don’t forget: Ukrainian romanticism is a bit different. Taras Hryhorovych Shevchenko denies serfdom not to remember the Past, but for the sake of the Future in which he strongly believes.

Gr I S2I’d like to add that the subject of his ballads and liro -epic poems were similar to other Ukrainian romantics depicting unusual heroes in extreme situations.

Gr I S1 That’s true, but the great difference was that these unusual heroes were taken from real life. The conflict is not between real and unreal but it acquires social colouring (e.g. in Taras’ “Topolya”).

To prove this similarity of his early poems to other romantics’ works I’d  like to emphasize their folk character.

Gr I S2: I agree with you. Taras’ works had folklore background. At the same time we must admit his innovations. He didn’t stylize folklore, neither he copied it. With help of it he exposed the spiritual wealth of Ukrainian people. Consider his poem “Perebendya”. It’s not only of folklore character. It has literature origin.

Gr I S1:And I’d like to draw your attention to the sound  (rhythmical) structure  of his poems..Mostly it’s iambic tetrameter. But very often it’s broken by folk song rhythm “kolomyika”, tending to trochaic verses. We come across the examples of syllabic verses connected with Ukrainian literature traditions.

Gr III S1: I’d like to remind you that the first references of Russian critics to the famous Kobzar were disapproving.

Gr I S1: Yes. They were. Not everybody could understand the epochal significance of that small book. But “Literaturnaya Gazeta” of those times estimated its patriotism, vividness, brightness and freshness of the stylistic devices.

Gr I I S3: To sum up the discussion on the topic “Taras Hryhorovych Shevchenko as an artist”

I’d like to emphasize the fact that he was a gifted pupil. He went farther than his teacher K.Brullov. He acquired the thought that the nature is the best object for painting. Being exiled from his people and native surroundings he missed them a lot.Life and nature were the best models, moreover, the best teachers for him.

Gr I S3: Yes, they were. But his exile simulated his poetic abilities, sharpened his patriotic and civic feelings.

Gr III S1: But to my mind the most peculiar feature of the poet and the artist as well as was his love to people.

He affirmed with all his life and the art that an artist can’t  create anything without “love to people”. And his portraits, drawings, etchings are the evidence of this statement.

Gr I S1: To sum up we’d like to say that studying the heritage of  great Kobzar we enlarge our outlook and have a good example of what person to be. Shevchenko’s poems and prosaic works are actual  nowdays. The language of his poems is like the incarnation of the Ukrainian language itself.

Gr I S2” We’ve made an attempt to do a poetic translation of his poem “ Не женися на багатій”. (Звучить пісня на слова Шевченка, потім переклад, виконаний учнями 9-го класу)

Would you mind listening to it?

Don’t get married to a rich girl

She will drive way thee

Don’t get married to a poor,

You won’t be able to sleep well,

Better marry to a free will,

To a Cossack fortune.

Let it be, come what may.

If bare, then bare.

But no one bothers you,

Nobody cheers.

If it hurts you and where hurts

Nobody interferes.

It is said it’s easier crying

When you share your feelings.

Do not yield: it’s easier crying

When people don’t see you.

III.Group project – quiz

<The presentation is projected on the screen>

Gr III S1: Our group has [prepared a quiz.If you were attentive you’ll manage to answer the questions.

  1.  Shevchenko was still a child when he lost his parents. A) True B) False
  2.  Shevchenko was born in the family of a A) Cossack; B)n serf; C) poor farmer D) landowner.
  3.  Shevchenko was born on A) April, 10.03.1837; B) April, 19.03.1861; C) April, 9.03.1814 (new style).
  4.  Shevchenko was good at: A) versifying; B) singing; C) painting.
  5.  Shevchenko dreamed of becoming a A) poet; B) composer; C) artist.
  6.  What stories impressed little Taras most of all? A) kobzars’; B) about ghaidamaky; C) about iron columns.
  7.  Shevchenko served for his landowner as a A) Cossack; B) groom; C) cook.
  8.  Who introduced T.H. Shevchenko to Ukrainian Diaspora  in St Petersburg? A) Serov; B) Perov; C) Soshenko.
  9.  To ransom Shevchenko K.Brullov painted the portrait of A) V. Zhukovskyi; B) Yevhen Hrebinka; C) Enghelgardt.
  10.  Every year T. Shevchenko got…. A)silver medals; B) gold medals; C) diplomas  for his medals.

IV. Reflection

T: Well done.I think you have worked a lot while collecting the material.And now try to be poets. Let’s write a poem about Taras Hryhorovych Shevchenko. The only difficulty is that you must begin every line with the given letter. Have a look at the project on the blackboard. The first letters  of all the lines in your poems are going to form the surname of the great Kobzar.

Shevchenko is our national poet

Humanity is his debtor

Enthusiastic in his work

Violent his anger to the rich

Comfort was strange for him

Hence his compassion to the  deprived

Ended was his artistic career

Notwithstanding his talent

Kobzar made his choice

Oh, great Kobzar, we honour you!

V. Compiling projects

T: And now let’s compile all the information you’ve found together. It is going to be your group project: “Taras Hryhorovych Shevchenko – poet, citizen, artist”

VI. Conclusion, home assignment



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