Illuminations: Geometry in the World of Art

# Geometry in the World of Art

## Who Was Wassily Kandinsky?

 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.

### Learning Objectives

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

### Materials

 Computer with Internet Access Online Art Encyclopedia Scavenger Hunt Activity Sheet

### Instructional Plan

 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. 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.

### Assessment Options

 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 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?

### NCTM Standards and Expectations

 Geometry 3-5Build and draw geometric objects. Describe location and movement using common language and geometric vocabulary. Recognize geometric ideas and relationships and apply them to other disciplines and to problems that arise in the classroom or in everyday life. Create and describe mental images of objects, patterns, and paths
 This lesson prepared by Maggie Williams and Carol Midgett.

1 period

### NCTM Resources

Principles and Standards for School Mathematics

### Web Sites

 More and Better Mathematics for All Students
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