Art & Math Mural Integration
Submitted by: Molly Olson, math teacher at Prairie Farm High School in Wisconsin.
Grade level/age: 9-12
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Students will be able to make connections between math and art, and to see how math is everywhere! Each student will feel pride after contributing to a beautiful mural!
1. Planning stage:
Brainstorm as a class to decide what type of mural they want to create. Ideas include:
Tiles done by each student
One big picture then divided into smaller parts
Elements that together create an larger image
A collage of different images
Each student then needs to research to come up with an image that represents a math concept. Students were assigned a short paper to write summarizing their image and the math behind it. This early research was the basis of that paper.
2. Design stage
Collect images from students to create the mural sketch
Arrange the images so there is balance
Use a projector to allow students to be involved in the process
A SMARTBoard can be valuable as it lets drawing become part of the process while keeping the files digital
Choose colors for each part of the mural - keep it cohesive.
Make sure to save often and early!
3. Sketching stage
Have a projector that can be pointed at the wall or surface to be painted with the design projected.
2-3 students can trace outlines either in pencil or chalk (other students can be writing their paper during this time)
Check frequently to make sure everything is lining up correctly
Have student assigned to a part of the mural. Each background needs to be painted first.
5. Finalizing the project
Have students finish their papers about the connections between their image and the math concepts Each student should have the chance to leave their signature or mark on the mural Be sure to take pictures to document the finished product!
Projector, SMARTBoard, Drawing Pencils or Chalk, paint (depending on your wall surface, your paint will either be Acrylic Paint with Acrylic Gloss Medium, or latex paint. If you want to easily remove the mural after the lesson, use Tempera Paint.
I have created a rubric used to assess the student's participation in the project, their work ethic, the quality of the work, and the connections they made between their image and the math concepts. The final paper allows me to assess the student's understanding of the mathematical connections, as well as how they felt about creating the mural.
I have only done this project once, but I plan on having my Pre-Calculus class add to my walls every year:) It is an honor for them to be a part of this project. My current class is just beginning to plan theirs and they are so excited! Last year's class is so proud of their mural! I think it is a great project.