Collaborative Kandinsky

Learning Description

Students will review some of Kandinsky’s works to find shapes. Students will create a collaborative piece of art using shapes and lines that is inspired by the artwork of Wassily Kandinsky.


Learning Targets


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"I Can" Statements

“I Can…”

  • I can identify different types of shapes and lines.
  • I can use different types of shapes and lines to create an original artwork.

Essential Questions

  • How can you utilize visual images to learn math concepts?
  • How can you create an original work of art using a variety of shapes and lines?


Georgia Standards

Curriculum Standards


K.GSR.8 Identify, describe, and compare basic shapes encountered in the environment, and form two-dimensional shapes and three-dimensional figures.

Grade 1: 

1.GSR.4 Compose shapes, analyze the attributes of shapes, and relate their parts to the whole.

1.GSR.4.1 Identify common two dimensional shapes and three dimensional figures, sort and classify them by their attributes and build and draw shapes that possess defining attributes.

1.GSR.4.2 Compose two-dimensional shapes (rectangles, squares, triangles, half-circles, and quarter-circles) and three dimensional figures (cubes, rectangular prisms, cones, and cylinders) to create a shape formed of two or more common shapes and compose new shapes from the composite shape.

Arts Standards


VAKMC.3 Selects and uses subject matter, symbols, and/or ideas to communicate meaning. 

VAKPR.1 Creates artworks based on personal experience and selected themes.

VAKPR.2 Understands and applies media, techniques, and processes of two-dimensional works of art (e.g., drawing, painting, printmaking, mixed media) using tools and materials in a safe and appropriate manner to develop skills. 

VAKAR.1 Discusses his or her own artwork and the artwork of others. 

Grade 1:

VA1MC.3 Selects and uses subject matter, symbols, and ideas to communicate meaning. 

VA1PR.1 Creates artworks based on personal experience and selected themes. 

VA1PR.2 Understands and applies media, techniques, and processes of two-dimensional works of art (drawing, painting, printmaking, mixed media) using tools and materials in a safe and appropriate manner to develop skills. 

VA1AR.1: Discusses his or her artwork and the artwork of others.


South Carolina Standards

Curriculum Standards

Grade 1:

1.NSBT.1.c. Read, write and represent numbers to 100 using concrete models, standard form, and equations in expanded form1.NSBT.4 Add through 99 using concrete models, drawings, and strategies based on place value to: a. add a two-digit number and a one-digit number, understanding that sometimes it is necessary to compose a ten (regroup)

Arts Standards

Grade 1:

Anchor Standard 3: I can act in improvised scenes and written scripts.


Key Vocabulary

Content Vocabulary

Place Value - The value of where the digit is in the number, such as units, tens, hundreds, etc.

Arts Vocabulary

Statue (Statues) - An actor frozen in a pose.

Tableau (Tableaux) - A group of actors frozen to create a picture.



Plus (+) and equal (=) sign placards that can stand on the floor (one possibility – written with marker on an inverted file folder - or part thereof – and capable of standing like a tent).


Instructional Design

Opening/Activating Strategy

Letter Statues
Introduce or review what a statue is – an actor in a frozen pose. Explain that the students will make letter statues with their bodies. Call out one letter at a time and have them make the letters. Use a drum, another percussion instrument, or clapping to cue the statues. Encourage students to be creative, using full body, limbs, fingers, etc., and exploring the possibilities of standing, kneeling, sitting, lying down, etc., as appropriate for the classroom space. Use observational language to comment on the different ways in which students use their bodies to create the statues.


Work Session

Number Statues

  • Repeat the process with numbers (single digits). After exploring multiple possibilities, inform students that they will focus on making number statues that use their whole bodies, and for which they will remain standing. Practice standing number statues.
  • Ask students how they would make a statue of a number up to 100. Elicit from them, or guide them to, the idea of working in pairs or trios.
  • Introduce or review what a tableau is – a group of actors frozen in a picture. Explain that tableaux often create pictures with characters and settings, but the tableaux today will be of numbers and number sentences.
  • Invite two, and then three, volunteers to model creating a tableaux up to 100. Ask students what each digit in a multiple-digit number represents. Introduce or review the concept of place value. Ensure that students understand that the digit to the left represents a higher place value than the digit to the right, and identify the units: ones, tens, and hundreds places.
  • Have students work in pairs to create a 2-digit number tableau (full-body, standing). Have them work together to say the name of the number together out loud. After creating a number, have them switch positions and say the name of the number with the digits switched. Move among the pairs to confirm that they are expressing each number correctly.
  • If students have grasped the 2-digit numbers and are ready for 3-digit numbers, have them repeat the process in trios. Each trio can explore all the possibilities with their three digits (if the digits are all different, e.g., 1, 2, and 3, there will be six permutations: 123, 132, 213, 231, 312, 321.)
  • Introduce the idea of moving from number tableaux to addition sentence tableaux.
  • Invite three students to model a simple addition sentence tableau, e.g., 3 + 4 = 7. Have the students assume their positions, and then have them speak the sentence together. (Note: this is an opportunity, if relevant, to introduce or reinforce the Commutative Property of addition by having the addends switch places.)
  • Provide plus and equal sign tent cards and have students work in trios to create addition sentence tableaux.
  • Use the same process, first modeling and then having the students work in small groups, to move into more complex addition sentences: adding two 1-digit numbers that result in a 2-digit sum (e.g., 5 + 7 = 12), adding a 1- and a 2- digit number together, without and then with sums that require making a new ten (e.g., 31 + 7 = 38, and then 29 + 3 = 32), and then adding two 2-digit numbers, without and then with sums that require carrying to the tens and hundreds places (e.g., 45 + 12 = 57, then 24 + 19 = 43, then 74 + 38 = 112).

Teaching Tips:

  • As appropriate to the class, use established addition strategies (counting on, making ten, etc.) to calculate sums, and advance only as far in the sequence of complexity as the class can manage.
  • This may be a lesson that is done over time. The first step may best be suited for when single digit addition is taught, then adding 2-digit addition as the concept is taught, and so on.


Closing Reflection

Ask students: How did you use your bodies to create letter and number statues and addition sentence tableaux? Which were more challenging, letter statues or number statues? How do we determine the name and value of a 2- or 3-digit number? How did you determine your place or role in the number sentence?




  • Students will identify shapes and describe where they are in Kandinsky’s artwork through group discussion.
  • Students will be able to explain the difference between two-and three-dimensional shapes.



  • Student collaborative artwork with required shapes and lines
  • Student scavenger hunt/checklist for closing/reflection



Acceleration: After the assessment, have the students practice combining two or more simple shapes to create a different shape.  Example:  You can combine two triangles to make a rectangle.

Remediation: Provide students with a printed copy of the types of shapes as a visual guide. Provide a visual guide for the types of shapes and lines that the student is required to include in their part of the artwork.


*This integrated lesson provides differentiated ideas and activities for educators that are aligned to a sampling of standards. Standards referenced at the time of publishing may differ based on each state’s adoption of new standards.

 Ideas contributed by: Carolynn Stoddard.  Updated by Katy Betts

 Revised and copyright:  August 2022 @ ArtsNOW