For some students, math isnʼt always their favorite subject. Adding a bit of art can make any math activity a little more inviting.
This is a great way to teach students that math can take many forms other than numbers. They will also learn a bit of art history! For more great ways to learn addition, check out the resources at https://www.education.com/resources/addition/.
Time: 60 minutes
Art samples from artist Piet Mondrian, specifically samples of his shape compositions that are blue, red, yellow, black and white. You can find many samples on the Internet.
Construction paper in blue, red, yellow, and black
White construction paper
Instruction sheet for student to follow
Write an instruction sheet indicating the amount of shapes the student will need to cut. For example, four yellow squares, seven red rectangles, and three thin blue rectangles.
Search for samples of Piet Mondrian’s work online, specifically the primary color compositions in which he used shapes.
Print the art samples you find. If you do not want to print, you can show the student the samples right from the computer.
When you are ready to begin the activity, begin by introducing the artist Piet Mondrian. Explain that this artist made artwork with shapes and used primary colors.
Show the student art samples, and discuss the composition work of shapes that Piet Mondrian made.
You can spend some time looking at the art samples and talking about the shapes. Begin some math by counting how many sides each shape has, and counting how many shapes of each color he used.
After the discussion, you can explain to the student that he will be making a “Mondrian” composition.
Explain that he will use an instruction sheet that he will need to follow, cutting specific colored shapes according to what the sheet says.
Give him the instruction sheet, and the paper and scissors. Give him some time to read the instructions and cut the shapes.
Once he has cut the shapes out, go over the number of shapes he has cut and compare it with the instruction sheet.
After he has checked that he cut the number of shapes written on the instruction sheet, have him total the amount of shapes he has.
After adding up the shapes, have him arrange the shapes on the white paper as he wants, and glue them.
At the end he will have created his own Mondrian masterpiece!