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Who Was Wassily Kandinsky?

  • Lesson
3-5
1
Geometry
Maggie Williams
Location: unknown

This lesson provides students with an exploration of the geometric figures Wassily Kandinsky used in his art. Students participate in a scavenger hunt to become familiar with Kandinsky’s works and the geometric figures used in his paintings.

To assess prior learning, have students identify different shapes and lines used in the classroom. Discuss the relationship between these shapes and lines and those in previous lessons.

Ask students to use only a square to create a simple picture of an animal. Have students describe how the shape they selected dictated the animal they created or how the animal they selected dictated the shape they used. This focuses student’s attention on the relationship between properties of figures and their uses.

To begin the lesson, organize students in pairs at computers, and ask them to research the artist Wassily Kandinsky. Give them 5-7 minutes to find several sites with Kandinsky paintings, and then encourage them to identify the various geometric figures Kandinksy used in his paintings. If printers are available, you may wish to have each pair of students print images of Kandinsky's work and share them with the class while describing the geometric figures that they found.

After a period of exploration, distribute the Scavenger Hunt activity sheet.

pdficonScavenger Hunt Activity Sheet 
Have each pair of students select one painting that is their favorite. Explain that the class will discuss the location of each of the items on the list once the pairs of students complete their searches. Collect the Scavenger Hunt results from each student to use in the next lesson.

Have students write a description of the shapes, color schemes, and designs Kandinsky used in his paintings. Collect these work samples and review them for students’ understanding of geometric figures and their properties.

Assessments
1. At this stage of the unit, students should know how to:

  • Identify the geometric figures Wassily Kandinsky uses in his art
  • Describe how Wassily Kandinsky uses geometric shapes to create paintings

2. As you read the student descriptions of Kandinsky’s work, watch for appropriate and inappropriate uses of geometric vocabulary.

Teacher Reflection 

  • What patterns did students recognize in Kandinsky’s work with regard to shapes, color schemes, and design?
  • How was the scavenger hunt effective in getting students involved and interested in artwork? What other strategies might be effective in engaging students’ interest in Kandinsky’s work?
  • What kinds of mathematical ideas did the students learn about Kandinsky and his work as they completed the scavenger hunt?
  • What adjustments in the instructional plan or instructional activities should be made the next time I teach this lesson?
 
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Seeing Geometry in Art

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Geometry in the World of Art: Mirroring Kandinsky

This lesson allows students to apply what they have learned in previous lessons by designing their own art. Students use Kandinsky’s style of art and their own creativity to make paintings that reflect their understanding of geometry.

Learning Objectives

Students will:

  • Identify the geometric figures Wassily Kandinksy used in his art.
  • Describe how Wassily Kandinksy used geometric shapes to create paintings.