Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Use Geometry to Create Your Own Stella Masterpiece

It’s easy and entertaining to use Frank Stella’s art to review geometry. The project below can be fun for elementary students in grades 1-5 with only small adjustments depending on the level of the students.

Supplies Needed:

Construction Paper
Glue Stick
(Optional) Geometric Stencils

A note to parents/teachers: I recommend creating some stencils out of cardstock if you plan to do this project with children in 1st or 2nd grade. Even older kids may benefit from tracing the shapes rather than drawing their own. Draw circles, triangles, squares, rectangles, hexagons, and octagons onto cardstock, cut out, and make the stencils available to the kids. You can easily adapt this project to your kids and situation by creating fewer shapes (ex: only circles, triangles, and squares) or more shapes (including trapezoids and parallelograms).

Choose which shapes to use in your artwork. You may choose to use as many or as few of each shape as you’d like. Trace the stencils onto colored construction paper and cut out your shapes. Older kids can practice drawing their own shapes onto construction paper and cutting them out.

Arrange your shapes onto your posterboard. When you are pleased with the art you have created, glue the shapes in place.

Cut away any extra posterboard to create a shaped canvas just like Frank Stella.

Another note to parents/teachers: You may wish to have the kids write an explanation of which shapes they used. Ask them to write how many of each shape they used and something about each of those shapes. For instance, if you’ve been learning that circles are enclosed shapes with no sides, have the kids write that. If you’ve been learning how to find area and perimeter, have the kids measure the shapes they used in their art and figure out the area and perimeter of each.

Check back tomorrow for another math-related Frank Stella project.

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