Gather and make available books about shape, for example, Icky Bug Shapes, by Jerry Pallotta; Shape by Shape, by Suse Macdonald; Captain Invincible and the Space Shapes, by Stuart Murphy (math start); A Circle Here, A Square There, by David Diehl.
Gather and make available books related to Kandinsky, for example, The Girl Who Heard Colors, by Marie Harris; The Noisy Paint Box: The Colors and Sounds of Kandinsky's Abstract Art, by Barb Rosenstock; Wassily Kandinsky, 1866-1944: The Journey to Abstraction, by Ulrike Becks-Malorny
Download the Shapeposter available on this website.
Read one of the shape books and refer to the shape poster to introduce the idea of shapes to students.
Invite students to point out shapes they see in the classroom. Make 2 columns on the chart paper – one for geometric shapes and one for organic shapes. Record students' contributions on the chart paper making a small doodle drawing to represent the object along with the word for it.
Introduce Wassily Kandinsky. Read the The Noisy Paint Box, or share a few points about the artist. - born in 1866 - Russian artist - had a special gift called synaesthesia cognate - a condition that meant when he heard a sound he also saw a particular colour - he used colours and shapes in his abstract paintings to express feelings and music - he painted the first non objective painting called the First Abstract Watercolour, 1910 - he thought each shape created specific feelings – square caused calm feelings; triangle caused aggressive feelings; circle caused heavenly feelings.
View and discuss the painting, Colour Study, Squares with Concentric Circles focussing on the shapes and colours Kandinsky used. Talk about how the painting makes students feel, and why.
Introduce the challenge.
Use resist technique to create patterns with concentric geometric shapes.
Use colour to express your feelings.
Explain your process.
Express opinions about the artworks.
Make sure everyone understands the challenge.
Establish success criteria with your students. For example, I know I am successful when I have: - drawn concentric shapes - used colours to show my feelings - applied a heavy layer of oil pastel so the resist technique is effective - kept the paper in good condition
Guide students through the steps in this project.
Encourage them to share ideas and to learn from each other.
Provide individual assistance and encouragement.
Once all the pictures are complete display them for a group discussion.
During the discussion include references to: - colours - How do the colours make you feel? - expression - How do the colours contribute to the feelings you wanted to express? - technique – How did you make sure the paint resisted the oil pastel? How does the way the paint is applied contribute to the emotions expressed in the picture?
Ask students to think of different ways they can use their art piece to demonstrate ideas they have learned in mathematics. For example, - graphing – Create a class graph showing the number of circles and squares used in the class. - creating addition questions – Create a class chart with lots of student generated addition questions based on the art works, for example, number of times you used each colour; number of people who used more than 2 circles; etc. - creating and reading patterns.
Display student’s art in the classroom or hall.
Observe students as they work – thoughtful focus, discriminating, seeking more information, elaborating, experimenting.
Observe students as they discuss their designs – speaks with a clear voice, looks at audience while speaking, points to areas in the design, provides accurate information, answers questions from the audience effectively.
Observe students as they listen – looks at presenter, asks effective questions, supports ideas with evidence found in the artwork.
Use a checklist to track progress. (Downloads - Kandinsky_tracking.pdf)
Have students use the self-assessment form to evaluate their work. (Downloads - Kandinsky_self-assessment.pdf)