Piet Mondrian Inspired Mathematics

Piet Mondrian (1872-1944) was a Dutch artist who is famous for creating very bold, grid style paintings that only use blue, red, yellow and black on a white background.

Piet Mondriaan

I’ve used his paintings to inspire a couple of different lessons – graphs of vertical and horizontal lines and inequalities & regions on a graph.

Graphs of horizontal and vertical lines

MondrianWork

In the past, when I’ve taught this lesson I’ve done plenty of work on mini-whiteboards first, asking pupils to name the equation of various different horizontal and vertical lines. Once they are all confident I’ve shown them a selection of Piet Mondrian’s work and told them that they are going to recreate some of this. I’ve then given them a piece of 1cm squared A4 paper and asked them to draw a set of axis. Once they’ve done that (don’t underestimate the difficulty some lower ability pupils will find doing this!), they are instructed to draw several horizontal and vertical lines on their axes before labelling them. After checking with me that they are correctly labelled, they have then used colour to turn their plain looking graph into a piece of Mondrian inspired artwork.

Regions and Inequalities

When I’ve done this with higher ability pupils in the context of regions and inequalities, I’ve again shown them pieces of Piet Mondrian’s work, and then given them a set of inequalities that they have to plot and colour on a graph.

The instructions below work best when they are plotted on a set of axes drawn on 1cm squared A4 paper in a landscape orientation. The axes need to be drawn on axes with a scale going  from -7 ≤ x ≤ 7 and -5 ≤ y ≤ 5. If you’re wanting to create display work with it, get the pupils to leave a 2cm gap between each number on their axes.

 

Mondrian Instructions

Download instructions as a Word Document.

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