Quick summary: This is a STEAM lesson, which adds the Arts to STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics). To find out more about STEAM and STEM click here. In this lesson, students connect mathematical knowledge with Visual Arts by creating models of three dimensional shapes using straws and string (geometirc mobiles). The lesson explores features of three-dimensional shapes, including faces, edges, corners (vertices) and surfaces. It further extends into an exploration of the two-dimensional shapes that form each face, engaging students in an exploration of how area of a two-dimensional shape can be approximated using formal units. In development and analysis of these designs, students will explore and discuss the art element of line, reflecting on its prominence in their design and the types of lines that are present.
This lesson has been created in partnership with education specialists, OfficeMax and Winc.
- Students understand the key features of three dimensional shapes.
- Students are able to calculate approximate area of a two dimensional shape using formal units.
- Students understand art elements and principles.
21st century skills:
Australian Curriculum Mapping
Year 3 Mathematics
- Make models of three-dimensional objects and describe key features (ACMMG063)
- Recall addition facts for single-digit numbers and related subtraction facts to develop increasingly efficient mental strategies for computation (ACMNA055)
- Model and represent unit fractions including 1/2, 1/4, 1/3, 1/5 and their multiples to a complete whole (ACMNA058)
Year 4 Mathematics
- Compare the areas of regular and irregular shapes by informal means (ACMMG087)
- Count by quarters halves and thirds, including with mixed numerals. Locate and represent these fractions on a number line (ACMNA078)
Year 3 and 4 Visual Arts
- Use materials, techniques and processes to explore visual conventions when making artworks (ACAVAM111)
- Present artworks and describe how they have used visual conventions to represent their ideas (ACAVAM112)
Year 3 and 4 Design and Technologies
- Generate, develop, and communicate design ideas and decisions using appropriate technical terms and graphical representation techniques (ACTDEP015)
- Plan a sequence of production steps when making designed solutions individually and collaboratively (ACTDEP018)
Syllabus outcomes: MA2‑1WM, MA2‑2WM, MA2‑3WM, MA2‑5NA, MA2‑7NA, MA2-10MG, MA2-14MG, VAS2.1, VAS2.2, ST2-5WT.
Relevant parts of Year 3 Mathematics Achievement Standards: By the end of Year 3, students recognise the connection between addition and subtraction and solve problems using efficient strategies for multiplication. They model and represent unit fractions. They recall addition and multiplication facts for single-digit numbers. Students use metric units for length, mass and capacity. Students make models of three-dimensional objects.
Relevant parts of Year 4 Mathematics Achievement Standards: By the end of Year 4 students recognise common equivalent fractions in familiar contexts and make connections between fraction and decimal notations up to two decimal places. Students compare areas of regular and irregular shapes using informal units. Students create symmetrical shapes and patterns.
Relevant parts of Year 3 and 4 Visual Arts Achievement Standards: Students describe and discuss similarities and differences between artworks they make and those to which they respond. They discuss how they and others organise the elements and processes in artworks.
Students collaborate to plan and make artworks that communicate ideas.
Relevant parts of Year 3 and 4 Design and Technologies Achievement Standards: Students generate and record design ideas for an audience using technical terms and graphical and non-graphical representation techniques including algorithms. They plan a sequence of steps (algorithms) to create solutions, including visual programs.
Topic: Art & Craft.
Unit of work: Learning Through Art & Craft – Primary.
Time required: 120 mins.
Level of teacher scaffolding: Medium – the level of support required will depend on a number of factors, including student comfort with construction and the complexity of the shapes that students decide to create.
Resources required: Device capable of displaying presentation and video. Student Worksheet (one copy per student). 3D Shapes Venn Diagram Sheet (one per student). 3D Shapes Design Sheet. Black Straws. Spaghetti string (colours at teacher’s discretion). Scissors (ensure left and right-handed scissors available). 3D Shape Analysis Sheet (printed back to back, one per student). 10mm grid paper. Pencils and erasers. Making a 3D Model Step-by-Step Instructions (equipment to project to the class).
Related Professional Development: STEAM Made Simple
Keywords: Shape, space, three dimensional, geometry, area, measurement, art elements, line.
Cool Australia’s curriculum team continually reviews and refines our resources to be in line with changes to the Australian Curriculum.