# Three Art Activities For Teaching Elementary School Geometry

By Melissa Matters

Make shapes come alive with these geometry art lessons for elementary school. In the process of learning about characteristics of different polygons, students will use their imaginations in constructing various geometry-themed art projects.

These geometry art lessons for elementary school incorporate art into geometry. Targeted for elementary students, these lessons focus on using different types of geometric terms to make geometry people, triangle families and geometry artwork. Students will become more proficient in geometric definitions and knowledge of terms.

## Prior Knowledge, Objectives and Materials

Before beginning these geometry art lessons, students should have a basic command of polygons like quadrilaterals and triangles.  Reviewing basic terms of polygons with students is helpful.

Objective - Students will be able to identify and describe different geometric terms. These terms include but are not limited to different types of quadrilaterals and triangles.

Materials - For all three lessons, students will need construction paper, scissors and tape or glue. For the triangle families, yarn and items like googly eyes are fun material additions.

## Geometry People

First, the students should review the following quadrilaterals: square, rhombus, rectangle, parallelogram, trapezoid and a kite. For each quadrilateral, the teacher should cut out an example on construction paper or tag board. Other options include drawing each shape on a transparency or smart board.

The teacher should ask what all of these shapes have in common: They have four sides and the figures are closed. Next, note for each shape the number of parallel sides, right angles, equal sides and equal angles. After examining the shapes, explain that students are going to make geometry people using different types of quadrilaterals and other basic shapes. Students should use at least eight different shapes. Students will be given different colors of construction paper and asked to construct a person using construction shapes only. Each shape should be labeled.

## Triangle Families

Students will be creating a triangle family poster showing the three types of triangles: equilateral, scalene and isosceles. First, review with students the idea that an equilateral triangle has three equal sides and angles. Next, an isosceles triangle has two equal sides and angles. Finally, a scalene triangle doesn't have any equal sides or angles.

After that, students will be asked to create a triangle family. Students will cut out at least three different triangles and then personalize them. For instance, they can make a father scalene, a mother isosceles and a baby equilateral. Or they can have grandma scalene, mother isosceles, father isosceles and twin equilaterals. After they make their triangles, students need to write down the definitions of each type of triangle at the bottom the page. Finally, students can have fun decorating their triangles with hair, glasses and facial features.

## Geometry Art

Students will take different types of geometric figures and turn them into a collage of shapes. Construction paper, magazines, and any types of paper medium can be used. Students should be given specifications as to what shapes should be used in the artwork. The art work could be limited to triangles, quadrilaterals, polygons or basic shapes. Shapes should be distinguishable. This is a fun way to culminate a unit on shapes. The geometric art can be backed on any size of paper. A simple construction frame makes this project look very nice. The results will make a nice display in the classroom or in the hall.

## Modifications

These math lessons can easily be adaptable to any grade or to teach about any types of figures. For geometry people, polygons like octagons, pentagons and hexagons can also be used. For the triangle families, acute, obtuse and right triangles can be included in the lesson. Kindergarteners can do geometry art with basic shapes. There are very many ways to modify these lessons.

Use one of these geometry art lessons for elementary school as a fun culminating activity for a unit on polygons. These projects all look nice up on the bulletin board. When students participate in hands-on activities, they will be able to better remember geometric terms.