STEAM Lesson: Mondrian Fractions

By | 2018-01-09T13:35:30+00:00 February 9th, 2016|

Grade level: 4-5

Content areas: Math and Visual Art

In this STEAM fraction lesson plan, students are studying the work of Piet Mondrian as a way to demonstrate and manipulate equivalent fractions.  As a math concept, equivalent fractions can present a challenge for our students.  Understanding that 3/4 is equal to 9/12 is difficult.  When using visuals and manipulatives, students can more easily SEE how the pieces are equal to each other.

That’s why Mondrian’s artwork is such a great choice for this lesson.  Between his signature use of blue, red, white, yellow and black colors and typically gridded blocks of color, it is easy to see how students could create their own artwork in this style which specifically demonstrate equivalent fractions.  In this fraction lesson plan, students are using square pieces of grid paper (I would quarter each grid paper so that students are not overwhelmed with the space), and then using red, blue, white, yellow and black to create blocks of color that are equivalent fractions of each other.

The peer assessment at the end provides students with another chance to both assess the work aesthetically and based on the accuracy of the equivalent fractions provided in the piece.

STEAM Lesson: Mondrian Fractions


What are some other ways you have integrated the arts when teaching fractions?  Let us know in the comments below!

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Susan Riley is the founder and President of She focuses on teacher professional development in arts integration, Common Core State Standards, 21st century learning skills, and technology. She is also a published author and frequent presenter at national conferences on Arts Integration and Arts and the Common Core.

Susan holds a Bachelor of Music degree in Music Education from the prestigious Westminster Choir College in Princeton, NJ and a Master of Science in Education Administration from McDaniel College in Westminster, MD. She lives in Westminster, MD with her husband and daughter.

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  1. Wendy February 15, 2016 at 5:50 pm - Reply

    I’ve worked with equivalent fractions in my music class using note values. I have activities that use fraction pizzas with note values on them. We’ve also done a fraction flip chart where we put note values in so they can see how note values compare to each other. We write the notes on them as well as their fractions. It was fun to connect it all together for the students.

  2. Tiffani Leverett March 23, 2017 at 9:38 am - Reply

    Amazing!!!! Will definite share with the music teacher for our 4th graders next year!!

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