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BHESA Fourth and Fifth Graders Integrate Visual Art and Math

5th grade student with mural

Fourth and Fifth grade students at Benton Heights Elementary School of the Arts recently participated in lessons integrating Visual Arts Essential Standards and Mathematics Common Core State Standards.

As a culminating project to their unit on fractions, fourth grade students studied Leonardo Da Vinci’s portrait, Mona Lisa, and El Greco’s portrait, The Cardinal. Discussing the differences in the style of these artists reflected through their art. Students then studied Da Vinci’s “Rules of Proportionality” and applied their understanding of fractions and these rules of proportionality to create self –portraits. Student self-portraits were based on a height of two feet and included practice with measurement skills as well as concepts of fractions, as they calculated various body measurements using Da Vinci’s “Rules of Proportionality”.

In the midst of the Fifth Grade fraction unit, students participated in lessons designed by North Carolina Department of Public Instruction (NCDPI). This unit posed mathematical tasks requiring the application of fraction concepts and skills. The context of the tasks were designing murals for an art room. As an extension of the lessons created by NCDPI, students studied photographs of murals located in Phoenix, Arizona and created their own mural beginning with foundations from the NCDPI unit tasks.

Both of these Arts Integrated Lessons challenged students to problem solve with perseverance. While challenging, students seized the opportunity to struggle through to success – the most powerful part of becoming Great Mathematicians!

Written by: Mrs. Holly Casstevens, BHESA Instructional Math Coach, K-1st-4th-5th Grades
Posted: Mar 21, 2014 by Beth Lanzy

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