Geometry in the Classroom


Related subjects or curricular areas: Mathematics, Science

23 schoolchildren, grade 3, Sánchez Marcos School, Bilbao

Teacher: Leire Pérez

Artist: Iñaki Gracenea

Language: Basque

In this project, the pupils were encouraged to think creatively about the presence of mathematics in everyday life. They thus understood that it goes well beyond numbers on a page and takes on multiple forms. Geometry, for instance, can be found in nature, in industrial design, in things we do every day, even in the games we play!

The workshops took an art-based approach to geometry, given the fact that it is a visual resource in many works of art. Using different art techniques, geometry was introduced in a natural, playful way. These words from Cézanne are the backbone of the workshops: “Everything in nature is modeled on simple geometric figures: cubes, pyramids, cones…”.

For the first exercise, the kids were divided into three groups, named after the basic geometric figures: “Circle,” “Square,” and “Triangle.” Each group was asked to make a performance, using the desks in the classroom to create the figure whose name they bore. Then, they had to think what the classroom dynamics would be like if the desks were laid out in that fashion. How would their spatial perceptions change? How would they feel in their chairs being part of the figure contour? In a fun creative exercise titled “Looking the hidden geometry,” the pupils tried a variety of techniques, like frottage and liquid watercolor, to discover and analyze the geometric shapes in found images. Finally, they made their own 3D figures or sculptures, beginning with the geometric structure and then adding volume with materials like wicker, cardboard, and others.