Lesson 8

Mondrian's Art (optional)

Lesson Purpose

The purpose of this lesson is for students to apply their understanding of the area of rectangles and factor pairs to create and analyze Mondrian-inspired art.

Lesson Narrative

This lesson is optional because it does not address new mathematical content standards. It does give students an opportunity to develop mathematical modeling skills while applying the ideas of area, factors, multiples, prime numbers, and composite numbers.

Students create a piece of artwork that is based on area of rectangles and multiplication facts within 100. They begin by learning about Piet Mondrian and analyzing a number of his abstract paintings. They recognize that the paintings are composed of rectangles—some with the same area and some with different areas.

Students then outline their own composition, by dividing a 18-by-24 grid into rectangular spaces with certain requirements. Next, students examine a peer's artwork. They identify rectangles with equal areas and those that represent prime or composite numbers.

When students isolate and describe the mathematical elements in art and adhere to mathematical constraints to create art, they model with mathematics (MP4).

This lesson may take more than 60 minutes, as students may need additional time to color, analyze, and present their designs. Consider modifying the activities or expanding the lesson across 2 days to meet students' needs and any time constraints.

  • Action and Expression
  • MLR8

Learning Goals

Teacher Facing

  • Apply understanding of factors, multiples, prime and composite numbers to create a geometric design.

Student Facing

  • Let’s make art with rectangles.

Required Materials

Materials to Gather

Materials to Copy

  • Centimeter Grid Paper - Standard

Required Preparation

Activity 1:

  • Each student will need a black marker or crayon.

CCSS Standards


Building Towards

Lesson Timeline

Warm-up 10 min
Activity 1 20 min
Activity 2 20 min
Lesson Synthesis 10 min

Teacher Reflection Questions

With which math ideas from today’s lesson did students grapple most? Did this surprise you or was this what you expected?

Suggested Centers

  • Five in a Row: Multiplication (3–5), Stage 2: Factors 1–9 (Addressing)
  • Secret Fraction (3), Stage 1: Building Non-Unit Fractions (Supporting)

Print Formatted Materials

For access, consult one of our IM Certified Partners.

Additional Resources

Google Slides

For access, consult one of our IM Certified Partners.

PowerPoint Slides

For access, consult one of our IM Certified Partners.