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Submitted by: MaryAnn Kohl
UNIT: About Me - Measurement (Art/Math)
Lesson: Measure Me String Art - from the book, Math Arts
Grade Level: Pre-school and up (adaptable to elementary)
Measuring the body with lengths of yarn is a fascinating experience for a young child that broadens self-concept and encourages enlightening observations. The yarn is incorporated into a collage that reveals patterns and relationships of sizes and measurements.
Balls of Yarn Assortment
tape (Colored Masking Tape or Kraft Tape is effective)
Sheet of Kraft Paper or Posterboard
two children to work together (the measuring person and the measured person)
1. Spread out the sheet of paper on the floor or tape it to the wall.
2. The person measuring should pull out a piece of yarn and measure a part of the other person (the measured person), such as the length of an arm or leg. Snip the yarn at the measured length. Tape or glue that piece of yarn to the craft paper. Stretching the yarn into a long, straight line is one way to do this.
3. Measure another part of the other person, such as around the head or a finger. Again, cut the yarn at the measured length and then tape or glue the yarn to the craft paper. One idea is to stretch the second piece of yarn next to the first, although crossing them over or joining them in a long design is artistically effective too.
4. Continue measuring with yarn until both artists are satisfied with the yarn display.
5. Trade places and now measure the other person on a fresh piece of craft paper, or use another color yarn and glue to the first person's paper.
Look for comparisons between the yarn lengths. Sometimes there are patterns which are readily evident in lengths and parts of the body.
Tape the yarn to a poster board - one piece of yarn next to the other - like a graph. Label the yarn pieces with a drawing of a foot, leg, neck or another body part that was measured.
Use different colors of yarn. Tape the yarn to the craft paper - then when finished, take them off to create a non-objective work of art using the starch line lesson by Pam Stephens. Did the yarn in starch (or Elmer's glue mix) - then arrange on black Construction Paper. Individual yarn colors could be identified with drawings of the body parts if desired. Use a variety of line art print - Jackson Pollock and others.
MathArts - Discovering Art Through Mathematics (copyright @ 2000 Gryphon House, MaryAnn Kohl, Cindy Gainer) - printed with permission For more ideas see Bright Ring Publishing Art Activities and Gryphon House Art and Creativity
NOTE: This lesson was submitted in the early days of IAD when teachers had no scanners or digital cameras to take pictures of student work.