Thursday, June 5, 2008

Use a Compass to Create Your Own Stella Masterpiece

Sorry for the posting delay. We had tornados yesterday and a lot of the area lost power. I did my best to stay out of the apartment as long as possible. Not to worry: everything’s fine now.

A note to parents/teachers: For your enjoyment, I am posting a second math-related project inspired by Frank Stella’s work. This one is perfect for practicing using a compass. Compasses can be tough to use at first and when students need to create circles of specified size it can be even tougher. This is a fun and artistic way to practice.

Begin by teaching the students a new term: concentric. Concentric circles are two or more circles within each other that have the same center point. Concentric arcs are two or more arcs lined up next to each other that share a center point.

Supplies Needed:

Colored Pencils or Crayons
Black Marker (optional)

Place your compass point somewhere on your paper and create a large circle. Your parent or teacher may ask that the circle be a certain size. Make sure it will fit on the page before you begin. If you’re doing this project on your own, choose for yourself what size you want your largest circle to be.

Now, set your compass to a smaller size. Place the point in exactly the same place on the page. Remember that concentric circles must share a center point.

Continue to create smaller and smaller circles inside the large circle.

When you’ve created as many circles as will fit inside your large circle, move your compass to another point on the paper and decorate the blank spaces with concentric arcs or smaller concentric circles.

Finally, color the spaces between the circles with colored pencil or crayon. If you wish, trace the pencil lines with black marker to make them stand out.

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