I have already written about Wassily Kandinsky, a Russian, abstract artist. For a class I’m taking, I have been working on a geometry lesson using one of his paintings. I thought some of you might find it useful. In my opinion, any time you can incorporate art into math or reading—or any subject—it’s a good thing.
The purpose of the activity is for kids to learn to measure diameter, radius, and circumference of a circle. This activity is good for 3rd and 4th graders.
Kandinsky’s Circles in a Circle
Focus first on the inside of the large, black circle.
Diameter is the measurement of the length across a circle. To find the diameter, use a ruler to measure straight across the circle. This line should cut the circle exactly in half.
Radius is the measurement from any point on the edge of the circle to the center. It would not be easy to guess the exact middle of the circle so, to find radius, divide the diameter in half. If you don’t yet know how to divide, try using a paper ruler that you can fold. Find the diameter and then fold the ruler so the diameter is split in two equal parts. The fold will tell you the radius.
Circumference is the measure around the circle. To find circumference, use a piece of yarn to find the length around the outside edge of the circle. Then, use your ruler to measure the yarn.
Repeat these steps until you are a master of measuring diameter, radius, and circumference.
A related project can be found here.
Return to main page.