Sunday, 1 October 2017

Art Incorporating Math

For the last week of school I wanted to do an intense push on art. Recently my class had explored creating art with pastels and crayons and dyes. I wanted to give them a chance to have a choice of the next medium we used.

So first thing in the morning we sat down and talked about what materials they had enjoyed using. Everyone liked the look of the pastels but all agreed they were very messy and were easily smudged. Crayon and dye was a favourite, but it became clear they all wanted to get the paints out.

They separated into groups to talk about what they would like to paint. It became clear that they needed guidance. The last time I let them have free choice completely with what they painted, they all drew these tiny figures with their pencil and then were unable to paint such small details. I had sat back and watched to see who would figure out they needed to draw bigger more simplified designs, maybe 3 children grasped the concept and changed their painting.  The rest of them were disappointed with their end result, opting to throw them in the rubbish bin instead of taking them home.

As we were looking at images on google, I reminded them that sometimes the simple images can be the most effective. We came across some simple black and white paintings children had done. Everyone liked them, so we had our plan.

Each student got a choice of a design and I printed out one A4 size for each. To make sure they got the size in proportion with their paper I decided to incorporate some Math. We got a ruler and a pencil and divided out paper into quarters.

This bought up aspects of math. First they had to correctly use the ruler to find the half way points across the page and down the page. This bought up conversation surrounding halves, doubles and quarters. It was great to see the students who are working in Stage 4 and Early Stage 5 helping out the other students. They then used the same strategy to divide their size A3 paper into quarters.

Using their pencils they had to use the space in each quarter to draw the image they had chosen. Of course there was the usual,,,,"I can't do this" "This is too hard" Some students rubbed out their drawing 3 or 4 times before they understood the concept of spatial awareness. Using words like on, off, under, over, up, down.

Having the paper cut into quarters allowed them to have a realistic view of how big their image had to be and to get the proportions right.

This art project took a few hours from start to finish. I think the best part was seeing the pride on their faces looking at the end result. I have to admit I did join each student towards the end and show them how to tidy up the outlines using a small brush.  The art was simple and best of all it was achievable to every student.


  1. Gorgeous Chrissy. I do appreciate the detailed explanation and reflection here.
    On a personal note the outcomes shared on the corridor walls bring me a great deal of pleasure every time I walk to and from my office. Thank you.

  2. These are awesome Chrissy! I am excited to try something similar with my class next term.