Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Integrating Maths and Art, through IT

Our Grade 5 students have been exploring the links between geometry, art and design. The central idea or understanding we want the students to come away with is that artists apply their knowledge of angles, symmetry and pattern to "create", bringing maths into everyday life. We decided to use IT to have the students explore these concepts and to create their own artwork.

We started this unit using the shapes in Word. The students chose 3 shapes which they then grouped, copied and flipped. The resulting shapes were then grouped again to create a pattern that could be tiled down the document. Students were able to print these out and laminate them and use them as bookmarks. Back in class they were able to show the lines of reflective symmetry.

We then went on to explore rotational symmetry. We used Kidspiration for this and the students made their patterns using the shapes and then coloured them in to show the pattern. Again, the students were asked how many degrees their shapes would have to be rotated to look the same.

Students are now moving onto the concept of tessellations. We are looking at tiling patterns, Islamic art and the work of M.C. Escher. They are going to investigate which shapes will tessellate and which will not. They are going to have a go at making their own tessellations out of paper and on the computer.

We also decided to take cameras out around school to see if we can find examples of real-life tessellations, for example in the brickwork.

Finally I'm hoping to introduce a bit of programming - I would like the students to be able to use Logo to programme an onscreen turtle to draw repeating patterns which can then be coloured in. I'm excited to see how these very different subjects can all be brought together to create real and authentic learning experiences for our students.

Artwork by Eleanor and Elodie in Grade 5

1 comment:

  1. A great tie in of technology to explore shape, design, and tessellations. I really like the idea of a field trip around the school to spot real life tessellations. I wish I was in your class :)