In these lessons, students will explore the intersection of math and art in the works of two artists and one architect for whom mathematical concepts (lines, angles, two-dimensional shapes and three-dimensional polyhedra, fractions, ratios, and permutations) and geometric forms were fundamental.
Students learn the biblical story of Daniel in the lions' den as an example of a man who showed quiet bravery and conviction to his beliefs. They research a quiet hero/heroine from the twentieth century and write an essay about this person's activism accompanying it with an illustration. Then, students write a speech championing a personal cause in which they believe.
Students explore how westward expansion increased the number of jobs available in the nineteenth-century, including being a flatboatman through a painting by George Caleb Bingham. Working in pairs, students write a letter to a classmate from the standpoint of a person moving westward. Then they construct a poem in the guise of Walt Whitman's "Hear America Singing" about a modern-day job.
Students conduct research and imagine themselves in a place other than where they live, then create art based on this imagining. Discovery and discussion about the Rousseau painting Tropical Forest with Monkeys that Rousseau created from his trips to botanical gardens, zoos, and illustrations in books is used to guide this lesson. Students also investigate the macaque monkey to compare to Rousseau's depictions. Included in this resource are links to an online matching game, EPA games and quizzes, science lesson plans and satellite images of environmental change.
Students will consider the term conceptual art and the role of math - geometry, fractions, permutations - in producing this art. They will first create a conceptual art piece by following a set of Sol LeWitt's instructions. Then, they will design two conceptual art plans using math concepts - one in two-dimensions, another in three - for a student-partner to follow.
Students use the painting, Cakes by artist Wayne Thiebaud, to learn and practice math concepts of volume and surface area. Then they create a bold cake painting, either using the online interactive tool or with classroom art materials.
Students are introduced to a popular toy from the nineteenth century, the hobbyhorse, through a painting by Robert Peckham and a contemporary popular children's verse. They then complete research on other toys from this time period, selecting one to compare to its closest modern-day equivalent. Then, they draw a portrait of themselves with a favorite toy or object.
Students examine Paul Gauguin's self-portraits and letters to learn about the individual who created them and consider how first-person art forms (self-portraits, diaries, letters, journals) aid the process of self-discovery. Then, they compare two of his self-portraits using a Venn diagram and produce their own symbolic self-portrait. Included in this resource is a link to a Gauguin podcast, online gallery tour feature, and high resolution image.
Students examine Vincent van Gogh's self-portraits and letters to better understand the artist's life story and personality. Then, they paint two Van Gogh-style self-portraits to show two parts of their own personality and write a letter describing the one that reveals their true character best. Included in this resource is a link to more letters from Van Gogh and the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam, a short audio tour about the featured work, and high resolution image. This lesson also contains opportunities for French language integration and a reflection/expressive writing extension.
Students explore the social concepts of parks both in this painting and their own life. They then embody a character in the painting to write from their perspective. Lastly, they select an outdoor scene that they use to document seasonal and environmental changes through writing and sketching over a long period of time.
Students learn about White Cloud, one of the chiefs of the Iowa people who attempted to raise money for his tribe after losing their land. Through discussion and research, students write a journal entry from the standpoint of a hero/heroine in their lives and then present to the class as if they were this person. Students can learn more about artist George Catlin using the NGA interactive feature and by viewing the slide show included in this resource.