This abstract art lesson is embedded with math from start to finish.
Deceptively simple to introduce, this lesson presents students with a problem-solving task requiring a specific number of shapes and colors. These parameters make the activity more challenging than it appears from the finished product.
The lesson begins with a discussion of work by American artist Alexander Calder, which is used to activate students’ use of geometry vocabulary. The activity can be simplified or made more complex by the use of less or more specific requirements to incorporate more math skills. These variations make the activity appropriate for a range of grade levels.
Geometric Shape Collage is bundled with three other lessons in Playing With Shapes.
This lesson includes the following:
- a list of art concepts and skills addressed
- national visual arts standards information
- a list of materials needed
- targeted art and related vocabulary
- suggestions for looking at art by Alexander Calder
- detailed steps for introducing the lesson
- directions for the art activity itself
- problem-solving variations for different grade levels with increasing levels of complexity
- ideas for extending or varying the art making activity
- ideas for looking at and discussing art
- a list of ideas for extending the lesson beyond art-making
- suggestions for writing about art and math
- a basic recording sheet for first grade
- a recording sheet for fourth and/or fifth grade
- photographs of student art work for reference
This comprehensive art lesson is designed to teach art appreciation, artist behavior, and art analysis, and to foster authentic art-making and art education.
National Core Visual Arts Standards are listed at the beginning of the lesson.
Because I teach in California, this lesson also includes a list of the California Visual Arts Standards addressed for suggested grade levels. Please note that listed grade levels are suggestions only; any of these lessons can be simplified or made more complex to work for any elementary grade.
Other math-related art lessons:
Art With Symmetry.
For more art-making ideas and suggestions:
Start With Art
-- perfect for back-to-school
Integrating Art Across the Curriculum Sampler Bundle
- a collection of five integrated Art lessons
Making Time For Art
-- a free download
Art Task Cards
-- for early finishers or art centers
I am a retired elementary classroom teacher, a former art teacher, an artist and a writer. I have a Multiple Subjects credential, a Single Subject credential for Art and English, LDS/ESL certification, a Master’s Degree in Elementary Education with a Mathematics focus, and Montessori certification. I have worked with all elementary grades, and with special groups including ELL, GATE, and At-Risk students. Creating Art With Kids
lessons and resources are designed to foster student creativity, choice, and independence, and to encourage authentic art-making. Consideration is given to developmental appropriateness, differentiation possibilities, and teacher individuality. For this reason, directions are general, expectations are open-ended, and clip art on student pages is kept to a minimum.
Visit my blog, Creating Art With Kids,
for detailed descriptions and helpful tips about the teaching process for many of my art lessons.
Other ways to connect with me:
Facebook: Creating Art With Kids
Pinterest: Renee Goularte
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