Put on Your Math Goggles! Seeing Triangles in Op Art

Pre-Kindergarteners enrolled in the Early Childhood Program at All Saints’ Episcopal School recently donned their math goggles and engaged in a mathematics activity using the visual arts as a lens.

The children learned about the British Optical (“Op”) artist, Bridget Riley, (1931 – present), and used her “Turquoise Cerise Olive Interlacing Triangle” as a springboard to discussing attributes of triangles. Students noticed that triangles have three sides and three “points” (i.e., corners or angles). Then, they embarked on a shape hunt, looking for triangles in their classroom.

Next, students created their own Riley-inspired masterpieces by tracing die-cut triangles onto white cardstock. After transforming the classroom into an art gallery, the children were challenged to transform 3 red trapezoids (from a patterns block collection) into a triangle.

This integrated math-art lesson also featured a reading of, “What Is a Triangle?” by Rebecca Kai Dotlich, to remind students of how they will see a plethora of triangles in their world.

Put on your math goggles and see math in art!

Does your school do something similar?

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