Object Lessons

  • Title:Object Lessons: Teaching Math Through the Visual Arts, K-5
  • Author:

    Caren Holtzman

    Lynn Susholtz

  • Publication Date:2011
  • Grade Level:K-5
  • ISBN:9781571107961
  • Publisher:Stenhouse

When Caren Holtzman and Lynn Susholtz look around a classroom, they see "a veritable goldmine of mathematical investigations" involving number, measurement, size, shape, symmetry, ratio, and proportion. They also think of the ways great artists have employed these concepts in their depictions of objects and space—for example, Picasso's use of geometric shapes in his cubist still lifes or contemporary artist Tara Donovan's room-sized sculptures of everyday items.

In their new book, Object Lessons, Caren (a math educator) and Lynn (an artist and art educator) use a highly visual approach to show students and teachers the art in math and the math in art. Integrating visual arts into math experiences makes the lessons accessible, engaging, and meaningful for a wide range of students.

In each chapter, the authors use everyday objects to create rigorous, hands-on activities that address key mathematics standards and concepts. Each lesson provides:

  • an introduction to the featured object that explains how it connects to key mathematical concepts;
  • a discussion of the artists, art styles and techniques featured;
  • activities organized by grade level and math content area;
  • the basic materials required to prepare and teach each lesson;
  • a clear picture of what the lesson will look like in a classroom; and a list of resources.

The book and its accompanying CD feature a wonderful gallery of images—including art photos and student work—and a collection of links to art education organizations, museums, and websites that focus on the work of forty major artists.

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