View Full Version : Using art to teach math...

08-05-2010, 10:52 PM
My daughter is just beginning her adventure with math, she's working on first grade material and....she is "bored" with it. She is very artistic (I am not, hence the reason I signed her up for art classes outside of our home, lol) and I was just wondering if anyone here uses art to teach elementary math? I'm just looking for new ideas. So far, she's told me that if she could paint her addition and subtraction problems, she would like them more. :D

08-06-2010, 12:23 AM
When writing numbers, she can make them fancy - swirls, dots, flowers, and into actual pictures themselves.

Use warm colors for odd numbers, cool for even.

Those multi-color click pens can be great for finding some self-expression while doing math.

For addition, have her draw a tree trunk and then she can draw however many leaves she needs to answer math questions. Use a pencil that can be erased for subtraction. This could be fish in the sea, scales on a mermaid tail, mice in a meadow, etc.

For skip numbers, she could use make a picture with numbers instead of lines. I may need to draw a picture of what I mean for this! Use bunches of 3's for the canopy of a tree, 6's for the trunk, 9's for flowers, 12's for grass...

Money math can involve making drawings using coins.

Tesselation pieces can work well for various concepts too. They can be used for simple math and if boredom sets in, an impromptu picture can be made with them.

This site has neat manipulatives... http://mathartfun.com/shopsite_sc/store/html/index.html


08-06-2010, 09:46 AM
Awesome ideas! Thank you so much :)

07-24-2011, 11:28 PM
Amazon has a bunch of books on the subject (http://guided-reading-lesson-plans.com/go/mathart.php). Maybe it doesn't always have to be art related, exactly. Math manipulatives (like dice, candy, buttons or anything you can "show" the math concepts with) serve to make math more interesting. There are several squidoo writers who have written about making math more exciting. Here's one (http://www.squidoo.com/math-games-r-fun) but if you look to the right sidebar area, there will be other related stories you can click on. There are tons of ideas. I use them a lot (even for my algebra-aged son) because I'm not as good at teaching math as I am at reading. ;)