Put on Your Math Goggles! Seeing Circles in a Kandinsky

Third graders at All Saints’ Episcopal School recently donned their math goggles and engaged in a measurement exploration using the visual arts as a lens.

Students learned about the Russian painter, Wassily Kandinsky (1866-1944), considered a pioneer of abstract modern art. Students used his “Several Circles” (1926) as a springboard to exploring characteristics of a circle, including radius, diameter, and circumference.

Using a compass, students were first required to draw and then color specific circles, given their radius, diameter, or circumference. Students also measured the diameter of a small and large circular button, and used this information to determine each circle’s radius and its approximate circumference. Then they traced these buttons several times on their white cardstock, creating a work of art in the spirit of Kandinsky. Students used brightly colored markers and crayons to adorn their artwork.

Third grade teachers then transformed a school hallway into an art gallery, showcasing their students’ mathematical masterpieces.

Does your school do something similar?

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