Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Art in Our School

I can't believe it has been so long since my last post, but I had a good reason. I now have a brand new hip, have recuperated nicely, and am ready to start back with students this week!!! Anyway, I do have a few things to share. First, a little bit about the last project 3rd graders worked on . . .

Around 80 years ago, when our school was built, a frieze depicting Theodore Roosevelt's life was installed outside the door of the main office. That area is now located inside the office, the result of remodeling. We believe the frieze was carved by sculptor, Robert Merrell Gage, who was responsible for quite a few local public works of art, as well as a few national treasures, as well. From 1928 to 1958 when he retired, Gage was the Chairman of  USC's Fine Arts Department.

Third graders explored the frieze, discussing all the details that they found. 

 They helped each other and used crayon to trace over the indentations of the carving, making replicas of some of the items. 

 Then, using centimeter rulers they measured parts of their own drawings and then other parts of the frieze.

I love when students can become actively involved with their surroundings both as artists and researchers. In this case, our research generated a LOT of mathematical comparisons!!

I am thrilled that our students have the opportunity to study and appreciate authentic art in their school environment. We have quite a few murals on campus as well as this frieze, so I am planning to have students explore these, too. More later on this . . .


  1. Welcome back! I was wondering what happened to you!

    This was an interesting activity; I like any opportunity to engage the kids in math with art - I was wondering if you were going to have the kids take their tracings and incorporate them in any sort of artwork, as a wrap-up to the activity?

    1. I posted the kids' tracings, sketches and measuring results on a hallway bulletin board (along with a few other bits of our school's history). Actually, I have had other classes make rubbings from this same carving, but they have never been wholly successful.

  2. Great way to integrate art and math!