How does Art illustrate the culture of learning?

Key words:
  • Art
  • Culture
  • Learning


This unit connects geometry with art. Students explore geometric shapes and concepts. In this unit, students research, communicate, write, think, and incorporate math, art, language arts and Spanish skills. After working with shapes and modeling shapes, students were then asked to define art with the question, "What is Art?" Their responses follow: “art is expression; it is the world around us; it comes from the heart; you want people to see the beauty of everyone and everything; it is passion; it is beauty; it is cool; it is fun; an outpouring of emotion expressed through colors, pictures, and patterns; it is creative; it makes you feel; it is what you feel; it is something drawn from experience; it is what you think; it is an image of people’s thoughts.” From many of these perspectives, students saw that art was part of them and who they are. Art is part of their culture and reflects the thoughts and feelings of many. In defining what their culture of learning is, students highlight variety, hands-on, stimulating, active, creative, and positive experiences.

Content Standards and Objectives


Draw and identify lines and angles, and classify shapes by properties of their lines and angles.

  • 4.G.1. Draw points, lines, line segments, rays, angles (right, acute, obtuse), and perpendicular and parallel lines. Identify these in two-dimensional figures.
  • 4.G.2. Classify two-dimensional figures based on the presence or absence of parallel or perpendicular lines, or the presence or absence of angles of a specified size. Recognize right triangles as a category, and identify right triangles.
  • 4.G.3. Recognize a line of symmetry for a two-dimensional figure as a line across the figure such that the figure can be folded along the line into matching parts. Identify line-symmetric figures and draw lines of symmetry.


  • W.4.1. Write opinion pieces on topics or texts, supporting a point of view with reasons and information.
  • W.4.2. Write informative/explanatory texts to examine a topic and convey ideas and information clearly.
  • W.4.3. Write narratives to develop real or imagined experiences or events using effective technique, descriptive details, and clear event sequences.

Production and Distribution of Writing

  • W.4.4. Produce clear and coherent writing in which the development and organization are appropriate to task, purpose, and audience. (Grade-specific expectations for writing types are defined in standards 1–3 above.)
  • W.4.5. With guidance and support from peers and adults, develop and strengthen writing as needed by planning, revising, and editing.
  • W.4.6. With some guidance and support from adults, use technology, including the Internet, to produce and publish writing as well as to interact and collaborate with others; demonstrate sufficient command of keyboarding skills to type a minimum of one page in a single sitting.

Research to Build and Present Knowledge

  • W.4.7. Conduct short research projects that build knowledge through investigation of different aspects of a topic.
  • W.4.8. Recall relevant information from experiences or gather relevant information from print and digital sources; take notes and categorize information.

Range of Writing

  • W.4.10. Write routinely over extended time frames (time for research, reflection, and revision) and shorter time frames (a single sitting or a day or two) for a range of discipline-specific tasks, purposes, and audiences.

Speaking and Listening:

Comprehension and Collaboration

  • SL.4.1. Engage effectively in a range of collaborative discussions (one-on-one, in groups, and teacher-led) with diverse partners on topics building on others’ ideas and expressing their own clearly.
  • SL.4.2. Paraphrase portions of a text read aloud or information presented in diverse media and formats, including visually, quantitatively, and orally.
  • SL.4.3. Identify the reasons and evidence a speaker provides to support particular points.

Presentation of Knowledge and Ideas

  • SL.4.4. Report on a topic or text, tell a story, or recount an experience in an organized manner, using appropriate facts and relevant, descriptive details to support main ideas or themes; speak clearly at an understandable pace.
  • SL.4.5. Add audio recordings and visual displays to presentations when appropriate to enhance the development of main ideas or themes.
  • SL.4.6. Differentiate between contexts that call for formal English (e.g., presenting ideas) and situations where informal discourse is appropriate (e.g., small-group discussion); use formal English when appropriate to task and situation.

21st Century Skills

Information and Communication Skills:

21C.O.3-4.1.LS1 Student identifies information needed to solve a problem or complete an assignment, conducts a search and prioritizes various sources based on credibility and relevance, retrieves relevant information from a variety of media sources, and uses this information to create an effective presentation.

Thinking and Reasoning Skills:

21C.O.3-4.2.LS3 Student engages in a problem solving process that promotes questioning, planning investigations, and finding answers and solutions.
21C.O.3-4.3.TT3 Student uses technology tools (e.g., presentation software, word processing software, publishing software, group web page design, digital cameras, scanners) for individual and collaborative writing, communication, and publishing activities to create informative products for audiences inside and outside the classroom.

Personal and Workplace Skills

21C.O.3-4.3.LS2 Student is flexible in assuming various roles and responsibilities in the classroom and the school, and with minimal assistance, considers alternative methods, solutions and perspectives to solving a problem or completing a task.

Anticipatory Set:

Students will complete a KWL chart on what they know about properties of geometric shapes.
Students will view various shapes on the Smartboard, some with color, others with no color.
Students will work with shapes and model them on a geoboard.
Students will continue to work with shapes and, working with a partner, describe a shape only using words. The partner will need to match the student description to create the shape.
Students will discuss the definition of art. After a short discussion, students will submit their definition of art.


Part 1

In this part of the unit, student identifies the geometric figures especially the two-dimensional figures and then uses the internet as a resource to assist the student in collecting samples of our world which contain these geometric figures. Students also have the option of using a digital camera and scanner to submit their work.

Here are some photos and pictures:


Part 2

Students will translate El Nuevo Rey written in Spanish using Google Translate. The story is about the land of geometric figures and their problem of electing a new king.

Part 3

In Working with Shapes, students will design a mural of shapes in Paint or Kidpix. Students may use quadrilaterals, triangles, pentagons, circles and other closed figures.geometriaex.jpg

Part 4

Students will rewrite the ending of The New King selecting a new king for the Land of Geometry.

Phase 2

Part 1

Students will identify lines of symmetry and congruent figures. They explore these concepts by completing a mini-group Webquest Similarity and Congruence, where they will be directed to several sites which will help them investigate the concepts of symmetry and congruence.

Part 2

Students will submit a rough draft of congruent and similar figures in a design mosaic and submit the creations to the class.
Each of the students will take on a role. These roles will tell what aspect of geometry to study, then, you will combine your area of expertise with the others into the final mosaic square.
A. Research your area of Expertise and Analyze mosaic - Mosaics, Mosaics2, or Mosaics3. Think about you can display or represent visually on a mosaic. Be prepared to tell your group about your ideas.
B. As a group, talk about the characteristics of congruent or similar figures that will make the design qualify and decide how you will create a design using everyone's knowledge. Draw a rough sketch of your mosaic.
C. Using Paint or Kidpix, construct the mosaic.
As a group, talk about the characteristics of congruent and similar figures that will make the design qualify and decide how you will create a design using everyone's knowledge. Using KidPix, Word or Paint, draw a rough sketch of what your mosaic will look like, and then write a short description of how this design fits the criteria described. Finally, when your teacher approves your rough draft, you can create your final mosaic square. On a 3 foot by 3 foot square in Kidpix or Paint you can use any materials available to design your mosaic square. Be creative in your interpretation!!!

D. Present mosaic to the class.
Now that you have fulfilled the qualification for the perfect mosaic you will present your group square to your classmates. It is important that you discuss and identify the congruent figures in your design and to tell why the figures are congruent. Think about the following questions as you prepare your short presentation:
What makes figures similar? What makes figures congruent? Can figures be both similar and congruent? Can two rectangles be neither similar nor congruent? How did you decide that your figures are congruent? Name the geometric shapes you included in your design. Also did you get any ideas by looking at other art online? What do you like most about your mosaict, and what did you have the most difficulty with?

Part 3

This lesson helps student explore the geometric figures of Wassily Kandinsky and Piet Mondrian Webquest. Students will participate in a scavenger hunt to become familiar with Kandinsky’s and Mondrian's works and the geometric figures used in their paintings.

Part 4

This lesson will help students apply what they learned in previous lessons and design their own art using shapes and colors. Students will use this style of art and their own creativity to make a painting that reflects their understanding of geometry. Explore Draw and Paint Multimedia, Electronic Research Lesson (Sample page) .

Thinkfinity online geoboards

Shapes Scavenger Hunt

Online Tangrams

Math Webquest

Quilt Lesson

Phase 3

Part 1

In this part, students have more practice with geometrics. They will study the art style of DeStijl, noticing the array of shapes used in the paintings . Since students have had other experiences with geometric art, some time will be spent discussing their interpretation of various art such as "Broadway" by Mondrian; "Card Players" by Doesburg and "Counter" by Doesburg.

Part 2

Students will write a letter to the community manager presenting the idea of a mural for the Community Center.

All the details for the culminating event are on the main page of the PLP Community Hub.
Creating a short video trailer or teaser of your project or year in PLP. Be sure and tag your video #plpteaser and embed the teaser (or post a link) on your team page on the wiki.

Teaser Project:


Culminating Event / Final Evaluation

Students will use geometric shapes to focus on an idea for their creative ideas. All ideas will be collected and compiled into a mural reflective of student culture.
Click here to view culminating project, Culminating Project Geller Math

Culminating Event / Final Evaluation

Students will use geometric shapes to focus on an idea for their creative ideas. All ideas will be collected and compiled into a mural reflective of student culture.
Students have completed this unit and stretched their imagination by producing fabulous pieces of artwork using the power of technology. Famous artist paintings became the basis of assisting students to use their imagination and use geometry concepts to create their own interpretation. Students have gained experience with digital pictures, scanners, drawing, painting with brush/airbrush, adding text, drawing shapes and lines, erase parts of a picture, fill an area with color, copy color to the palette, select an area, copy and paste a selection, magnify an area, select paint tool options, resize drawing area, create custom color, adjust print settings, change word document to a jpg file, draw shapes, scale, move, rotate an object, format shapes using preset styles, format the fill, outline, shadow and 3D effects of shapes, delete an object, adjust object order, delete slide, add text to a slide, apply a design to the slide show, insert a picture onto a slide, resize and relocate slide objects, animate slide objects, view the slides in slide view, slide sorter view and slide show view and apply transitions between slides, to name just a few!


This PLP project has given me and my students a wonderful opportunity to learn. Information presented in many textbooks is routine, but this project has allowed for an immersion into learning. The process allowed the students to solidify skills and assist in dynamic learning by providing enriching learning experiences beyond the standards and transcending the needs of every learner – student and teacher. Although this project began as a math unit, it quickly became an interdisciplinary study by allowing students to incorporate math, art, language arts, and even foreign language into 21st century learning paths.

Also, as in the past, each team was to create a page on the wiki to list their project information. You can view other team's pages to see how they are sharing their projects and the types of artifacts they are sharing there.
I am also part of the St. Bernadette Year 2 PLP group: