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.
What are some other ways you have integrated the arts when teaching fractions? Let us know in the comments below!
Susan Riley is the founder and CEO of EducationCloset.com. 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 STEAM education.
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.