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Math-Art-Science Connections -Integration ofart

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  • Judy Decker
    (Samantha - this is just FYI - I try to let my Getty friends know when I am talking about them. This topic came up on Art Eduction list just the other day -
    Message 1 of 1 , Sep 29, 2003
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      (Samantha - this is just FYI - I try to let my Getty friends know when I am
      "talking" about them. This topic came up on Art Eduction list just the other
      day - you replied to Getty like "magic" - I sure love how this works)

      Dear Friends in Art Education,

      I just thought I would share this gem of a Getty post - from Samanth Wilmoth
      in Akron, Ohio. So many are looking for connections. (First let me add that
      Samantha is typing this all one handed - she injured one hand in the
      elevator - so she is thinking and typing at the same time)

      I would briefly mention some of the ties I had made between
      math and science and visual art. Math has some pretty obvious geometrical
      tie ins, especially when we are studying the prehistoric peoples of Ohio
      and prehistoric art around the world. Repeating patterns and balance as
      well as sketching out word problems in order to visualize what they are
      asking. Doing stream of consciousness thinking here, so bear with me.
      Fractions come into play too...especially when we work with
      perspective..this may just be a connection that I make and not a truly
      integrated connection, but I know it has helped my 4th graders understand
      fractions a bit more. Science..let's see..in my prehistoric Ohio/rocks and
      minerals/myths and legends unit, I have students sketch their rock samples,
      create Native influenced circle stories. We look at the artifacts of the
      Adena and Hopewell and note how they used natural resources to create their
      works of art..Observation skills and data collection are also a given
      for me..For example, the amount of observation required to do a still
      life?? Would put some scientists to shame I am thinking :) I also have the
      students make chalk using various ingredients to point out how the
      early peoples must have gone through the same trial and error process in
      creating their art tools...Oh! and we create our own art tools from
      materials at hand..sticks, long blades of grass..feathers..and then we
      create slate paintings. This is a major technology strand here..Kids are
      always at the epiphany stage when they realize that technology is *not* just
      computers.We also look at various materials (different grasses and
      plant leaves and animal furs) through magnifying glasses and microscopes to
      see what they might have woven their material from and why they might
      have chosen each thing and then we weave little bags...Kids always love
      that one. They can see through the microscope why one fiber might be
      better suited to baskets...another to clothing, etc. We discuss the
      functionality of art throughout history too. Finally, here, too I encourage
      those students who might still be struggling with putting things into
      words, to draw pictures to help them visualize major concepts such as the
      rock cycle or the geological periods of time..etc. Is that truly
      integrating art objectives when I have them do that? I believe it is.There
      are two absolutely fabulous art teachers here who are an unending supply of
      other ideas too, but this has taken me most of the day to type..so I had
      better stop for now....but this one last thought...
      Art has always been the medium throughout history where people could
      record their thoughts and feelings and observations, too.Through the eyes
      of the artists, we have glimpses into so many things..so is Art
      meangingful and relevant to helping our students learn? It most assuredly
      is! Sometimes it is the *only* way we can reach them and teach them.


      Back to Judy -- if any of you have questions about her units - ask away --
      to me. I will get with her over the summer. She has a lot "on her plate"
      right now. Christa-Maria - if you got down this far - you will LOVE
      Samantha! For those interested in art across the curriculum -save this post
      into a special folder. Obviously this is more than art-math-science (a lot
      of social studies, too)- but you get the idea.

      Judy Decker - Ohio
      Incredible Art Department
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