Percents Art Project

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SWBAT use math to create a work of art.

Big Idea

Students get creative with math.

Art and Math Discussion

10 minutes

This lesson is inspired and adapted from the Math Masterpiece and Percents article. To introduce students to the lesson we will discuss how math can be used in art.  

How can math be used in art?

I will give students a few minutes to discuss the question with their group and then they will share out with the class.

I will introduce students to Colorfield Painting and artists who have used math in their art work.

Color Field painting is a style of abstract painting that emerged in New York City.

I will give a brief description of artists who used this style.

Piet Mondrian - A Dutch artist famous for making paintings with lots of geometric shapes.  He used a ruler to make straight lines across paper and filled in the shapes with color.

He used the 3 primary colors.  What are they?

Victor Vasarely - He is the acknowledged leader of the Op Art movement, and his innovations in color and optical illusion have had a strong influence on many modern artists.

Ellsworth Kelly-  Color Field painting is a style of abstract painting that emerged in New York City.  He combines 64 solid colored painted squares into a grid.

I will pass around pictures of their work for students to view.

Mondrian Sample

Vasarely Sample

Noland Sample

Mondrian Sample 2

Kelly Sample


Art Project

60 minutes

If you were an artist, what concepts might you explore through your art?

I will explain to students that they will have the opportunity to create a work of art and use math.

Each student will receive a Fractions, Decimals, Percents Art Worksheet and a glue stick.

Each group will receive a container of one inch paper squares of 6 different colors.


Using at least 3 different colored squares you will create an art design of your choice.

Only one color can be used in each grid square.

When you are done with your design, you will complete the table with the colors you used.  You will count the number of squares you used for each color.  Then write it as a fraction, decimal and percent.



Lesson Summary

10 minutes

Students will be excited to share their projects, so the lesson summary will be an opportunity for them to show and explain the inspiration behind their work.

If there isn't time for all students to share, I will have an art display of their work.