Innovative class combines art and math as teaching tool

A mix of art and math at an Elkhart elementary school // WSBT 22 photo

An innovative class is being taught at an Elkhart elementary school that incorporates two subjects at the same time.

It involves art and math-- two areas with many similarities.

Art teacher Kirsten Hawn is weaving both courses into one.

“I feel that math is part of life and it’s very easy to incorporate math into art because it is already there and all I do is just bring that out,” said Hawn.

In the case of making these dream catchers, she requires students use two to four different colors. They can use roughly nine beads on each string and repeat the pattern four times.

"They had directions, for example, to cut three circles the same size and glue them in a row,” said Hawn.

Then asked to cut out four to six rectangles.

They build popsicle structures with a certain amount of sticks, paint emotions using six different faces.

In many cases they don't even realize they are learning about math, even geometry and fractions, and developing a math vocabulary.

Part of the class involves using straight lines in different combinations.

"That helps us do fractions, like if you are drawing a circle and putting it down and like color in and it can be a fraction,” said third-grader, Darrion Turner.

"If you mix art and math, you get a cool project,” said Rialynn Hakey. “Art and math, when you mix it comes out in either 3-dimensional or 2-dimensional.”

The class is open to all students in grades K through six.

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