35 Lessons that Explore the Beautiful Pairing of Math and Art

 
math and art title
 
Cross-curricular connections are a phenomenal way to help our students develop deeper knowledge. Real life isn’t compartmentalized into just math, just reading, just science, or just art. It’s an intricate collection and balance of all practices and knowledge. We can lead our students through processes that allow these connections to form naturally!

One of the easiest cross-curricular pairings is art and math. Just look at these connections!

  • The Golden Ratio has been used for centuries to help create balance in art.
  • M.C. Escher created tessellations and illustrated impossible formulas.
  • Between the Folds” features artists, mathematicians, and scientists.
  • “Starry Night” illustrates the mathematical theory of turbulence.
    • (See an awesome video here!)

So, you see, math and art are a natural pair!
 

Below I’ve compiled a list of 35 of the coolest
art lessons that use math from AOE and beyond!

 

Symmetry 

 
symmetry
 
Meet Me in the Middle Self-Portraits (AOE Lesson)

Symmetrical Paper Masks (AOE Lesson)

Radial Printmaking (AOE Lesson)

Architectural Relief Prints (AOE Lesson)

Digital Radial Designs (AOE Lesson)

Bean and Bead Mosaics (AOE Lessons)

Negative Space People (AOE Lesson)

Foolproof Positive and Negative Designs (AOE Lesson)

Chalk Mandalas (my lesson)

CD Mandalas (my lesson)

 
 

Shapes and Forms

 
shapes and forms
 
Shape Robots (my lesson)

Shape Owls (via tinyartroom)

Mondrian Collage (AOE Lesson)

Quilt Prints (AOE Lesson)

Optical Illusions (AOE Lesson)

Op Art Lines (via Art with Mr. E)

Totem Poles (via Thomas Elementary Art)

Origami (via instructables)

Paul Klee Geometric Buildings (my pic, lesson via Deep Space Sparkle)

Compass Painting (via Housing A Forest)

Collaborative Circle Shape Quilts (via shine brite zamorano)
 
 

Perspective and Design

 
perspective and design
 
Artist Treehouses (AOE Lesson)

Tessellations (my lesson)

1-Point Perspective (via Deep Space Sparkle)

Lego Self-Portraits (proportion; AOE Lesson)

String Stitched Dots (via Cassie Stephens)

 
 
 

Formulas and Measurement

 
Formulas and Measurement
 
Fibonacci Circles (via What Do We Do All Day?)

Pi Skylines (via What Do We Do All Day?)

Building Blue “Prints” (AOE Lesson)

Chuck Close Portraits (AOE Lesson)

Fibonacci Spiral Art (via Deviant Art)

Perimeter Collages (via The Teacher Studio)

Parabolic Curves (via What Do We Do All Day?)

Frank Stella Protractor Art (via For the Love of Art)

 

Hopefully some of these ideas have sparked some inspiration!

Still need a little boost getting started? Check out this short guide to help you start cross-curricular planning. Or, if you want to dive deep, check out the AOE course Connecting Art to the Common Core. One week of the course is dedicated exclusively to exploring connections between art and math!
 
 

What are your favorite lessons that combine math and art?

Do you consult classroom curriculums when planning your own?

 
 
 

Alecia Eggers Kaczmarek

Alecia is an elementary art teacher in central Iowa who is passionate about teaching and reaching her students with an innovative and meaningful arts education.

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