Frida Kahlo’s birthday: lesson ideas for Advanced students

Frida Kahlo, one of Mexico’s greatest artists, was born on July 6, 1907. Do your students love art? Are they interested in Mexican traditions? If yes, below are some lesson ideas you might find interesting.

1. Warm-up

Discuss the questions:

— How did you get interested in art?

— Do you have any favourite artists? Who’s your most favourite one? Why?

— Which artists from your country are most well known internationally?

— Do you know any artists with tragic biographies?

— What do you know about Frida Kahlo?

2. Associations

What do you think the following pictures illustrate?

Source: Wikipedia.com
Source: Wikipedia.com
Source: Wikipedia.com
Source: Wikipedia.com
Source: Wikipedia.com
Source: Wikipedia.com

Watch the video and say what the pictures really illustrate

Possible answers:

1. Frida’s injuries 

2. One of her early works

3. Relationship between Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera

4. The Mexican Revolution

5. Frida Kahlo and Surrealism

6. The Double Self-Portrait

3. True/False

Watch the video again and mark the sentences true or false.

1. In 1925 Frida Kahlo’s car collided with a school bus, which led to Frida suffering near-fatal injuries. 

2. Frida was bedridden for months after the accident, so she had to stop painting. 

3. Frida Kahlo is well-known for her self-portraits.

4. Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera were heavily influenced by Mexicanidad.

5. Like other surrealists, Kahlo used dreamlike images to represent the unconscious mind. 

6. The double self-portrait “The Two Fridas” suggests the position caught between past and present.


1. F (She was riding a bus).

2. F (She had a special easel attached to her bed so she could practice painting techniques).

3. T

4. T

5. F (Unlike other surrealists, Kahlo used dreamlike images to represent her physical body and life experiences).

6. T

4. Adjectives to describe pictures

Match the words to the definitions below:

1. mesmerizing

2. astonishing

3. absorbing

4. awe-inspiring

5. thought-provoking

6. fascinating

7. impeccable

8. mysterious

9. surreal

10. unconventional

a. Something that is very interesting and keeps your attention.

b. Very surprising.

c. Very attractive, in a mysterious way, making you want to keep looking.

d. Different from what is usual or from the way most people do things.

e. Making you think a lot about a subject.

f. Strange, not understood.

g. Strange; not seeming real; like a dream.

h. Perfect.

i. Extremely interesting.

g. Causing you to feel great respect or admiration.


1. c

2. b

3. a

4. j

5. e

6. i

7. h

8. f

9. g

10. d

Which of these adjectives would you use to describe this painting?

5. Speaking

Questions for further discussion

1. What was the last art gallery you went to?

2. Do you have a favorite painting? Why do you like it?

3. What do you think about contemporary art?

4. Do you think children should study art at school?

5. Do you have any artistic talents?

6. Why is art important?

7. What is unique about Frida Kahlo? 

8. What does she tell us about herself in her self-portraits?

9. What is unique about you that you would like to capture in a self-portrait?

10. Would you like to have your portrait painted?

6. Exam practice

CAE Speaking (Part 2)

The pictures below show people doing things together. Compare two of the pictures, and say why the people might be doing these things together, and how the people might be feeling.

Why might the people be doing these things together?

How might the people be feeling?

8 Skyteach
9 Skyteach

CPE Speaking (Part 3)    

In this part of the test you’re going to talk on your own for about two minutes. Here’s a card with a question. Say what you think about the topic. There are also some ideas on the card for you to use if you like. 

Is government money spent on art and art education worth it?

— teaching children at school 

— museums and art galleries 

— difficult economic times

Oh, and don’t go yet 🙂 

Here’s what you might also be interested in:

The Diary of Frida Kahlo: An Intimate Self-Portrait

Frida Kahlo and her paintings

A closer look at Frida’s art

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