Introducing basic geometry to students can be a fun way to incorporate art projects into your curriculum. Students can learn how shapes interact with each other, spacial relationships, as well as area, perimeter and circumference. The projects outlined in this article are designed for middle school students to reiterate concepts already introduced, and pre-teach more advanced ideas they eventually learn later on.
Geometric Symmetry Challenge
Ask your students to create a completely symmetrical drawing using only three or four basic geometric shapes. By making a large shape or series of basic shapes in the center, like a circle or a diamond, and challenge them to fill in the background with as many interlocking shapes as possible. This will reinforce basic pattern concepts and teach students which shapes compliment and fit with each other. After the basic drawing is complete, students can color the shapes or create further designs within the pattern.
Ask students to choose a photograph from a magazine or bring one from home. Use a copy machine to enlarge the picture to a much larger size so that it will be easier to work with. Cover the picture with a sheet of tracing paper, however instead of tracing the picture exactly as it appears, ask the students recreate the photo using only geometric shapes. By reducing the figure to it's most basic geometric elements, students can see how geometry figures into daily life and how they relate to each other. Portraits, landscapes, and still lifes are easiest to work with, but any picture that has an abundance of activity in the frame can be difficult recreate and will appear too busy.
Geometric Shape Mobile
Using a coat hanger, several wooden crafting sticks, and a number pipe cleaners you can create a mobile out of geometric shapes. Attach two crafting sticks, found at any hobby store, approximately eight inches each. to the bottom ends of a coat hanger, using several pipe cleaners. Attach the sticks so that they extend outward, forming what looks like an "H" when looked at from above.
Use the pipe cleaners to create a series of interlocking geometric shapes and attach them at different points to the mobile. Challenge your students to keep the mobile balanced, and see if they can measure the perimeter and area of each shape.
- Photo Credit stock image of fractal geometry image by Ruslana Stovner from Fotolia.com