Put on Your Math Goggles! Seeing Rectangles in a Mark Rothko

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 abstract expressionist, Mark Rothko (1903 – 1970), and used his colorful canvasses as a springboard to discussing attributes of rectangles. Students noticed that rectangles have four sides and four “points” (i.e., corners or angles). Then, they embarked on a shape hunt, looking for rectangles in their classroom.

Next, students created their own Rothko-inspired masterpieces by selecting three strips of colored construction paper and gluing them onto white cardstock. They also experimented more with color by adorning a Rothko-inspired coloring page.

After transforming the classroom into an art gallery, the children were read, “Two Short, Two Long: A Book About Rectangles” by Christianne Jones, to remind students of how they will see a plethora of rectangles in their world.

Put on your math goggles and see math in art!

Does your school do something similar?

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