Algebraic Patterns Taught Through the Art of Sol LeWitt (elementary)

Last changed: 06/17/2019 8:49am
4 , 5
Visual Art Math
Grade Level Program Alignment
1 60 min
In-School Workshop
All year
$10 40
no Email , Phone , In-Person
Extra colored pencils, if needed.
Paper, colored pencils, rulers, erasers, projector
Regular classroom set up
I can more fully understand and use mathematical vocabulary including geometry, algebraic patterns, numerical relationships, and measurement. I can identify algebraic patterns of combinations and permutations to better understand algebraic patterning. I can create my own patterns using these mathematical skills. I can also use various tools (rulers, levels, tape measures) to measure, align, or orient my work.
Sol LeWitt was a Connecticut artist famous for a series of abstract wall drawings based on his theory of conceptual art. Like the composer of a musical score, LeWitt wrote the instructions for his paintings and let others actually create the paintings. These abstract wall drawings often included geometric shapes, algebraic patterns, and mathematical combinations that can be used as a springboard for teaching math. Students will begin by analyzing LeWitt’s approach to art, comparing his instructions to his finished wall painting to better understand the connections between language, math and art. In particular, they will analyze the use of algebraic patterns in LeWitt’s work to better understand how these patterns work and grow. Using what they have learned, they will create their own mathematical combination drawings based on geometric shapes. This entire process provides a hands-on, in-depth approach to better understanding and applying mathematical vocabulary and models of algebraic thinking.

Grade 4

Grade 4: Mathematics: Operations and Algebraic Thinking: Generate and analyze patterns. 5. Generate a number or shape pattern that follows a given rule. Identify apparent features of the pattern that were not explicit in the rule itself.
Grade 4: Mathematics: Geometry: Draw and identify lines and angles, and classify shapes by properties of their lines and angles. 1. Draw points, lines, line segments, rays, angles (right, acute, obtuse), and perpendicular and parallel lines. Identify these in two-dimensional figures. 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.
Grade 4: Visual Art: Creating: Anchor Standard 1: Generate and conceptualize artistic ideas and work: Brainstorm multiple approaches to a creative art or design problem.
Grade 4: Visual Art: Responding: Anchor Standard 7: Perceive and analyze artistic work: Analyze components in visual imagery that convey messages.

Grade 5

Grade 5: Mathematics: Operations and Algebraic Thinking: Analyze patterns and relationships. 3. Generate two numerical patterns using two given rules. Identify apparent relationships between corresponding terms.
Grade 5: Mathematics: Geometry: Classify two-dimensional figures into categories based on their properties. 3. Understand that attributes belonging to a category of two dimensional figures also belong to all subcategories of that category. 4. Classify two-dimensional figures in a hierarchy based on properties.
Grade 5: Visual Art: Creating: Anchor Standard 1: Generate and conceptualize artistic ideas and work: Combine ideas to generate an innovative idea for art-making.
Grade 5: Visual Art: Responding: Anchor Standard 8: Interpret intent and meaning in artistic work:Interpret art by analyzing characteristics of form and structure, contextual information, subject matter, visual elements, and use of media to identify ideas and mood conveyed.
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Beth Klingher