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Put on Your Math Goggles: Exploring Geometry and Graphing in the Art of Paul Klee

Kindergarten students at All Saints’ Episcopal School recently donned their math goggles and engaged in a geometry and graphing exploration using the visual arts as a lens.

Students learned about the Swiss-German painter, Paul Klee (1879-1940), and used his “Castle and Sun” (1928) as a springboard to exploring a variety of mathematics.

Using 2D die-cut shapes, markers, and crayons, students created their own Klee-inspired castles. As the children constructed their colorful castles, they were asked to describe attributes of their 2D shapes (e.g., number of sides, number of corners (or vertices), etc.), as well as identify the names of the shapes. Teachers also challenged their spatial-visual skills by asking which shape was above, below, to the right of, to the left of, etc., a specific shape.

Each child also constructed a castle using wooden blocks. After making their Klee-inspired castle sculptures, the children recorded on a bar graph the number of each type of 3D shape used. This activity gave the children practice with counting, graph creation, and graph interpretation.

Kindergarten 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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