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!

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