Math merges with art at Gotham Avenue


Sixth-graders in Dimitri Bernadel’s class at Gotham Avenue School in Elmont took their math skills to the art room during a lesson that reinforced their knowledge of the geometry nets that make up three-dimensional figures.

A geometry net is a flattened out 3-D shape, such as a cube, pyramid or prism. They are used to assist students in computing the surface area of the composite shapes. According to Bernadel, one of the benefits of the art project was that it helped students look at a 2-D shape and identify its 3-D form.

“To teach a math concept using an art visual concept engages all learners,” Bernadel said. “Some students learn visually, while others learn tactically. This project meets each student at their strength and allows them to see the math in real life.”

When looking for an idea on how to give the students a realistic visual of what they were learning, Bernadel collaborated with art teacher Gina Carr, who suggested mandalas for the lesson, which gave students an opportunity to incorporate different geometry nets as part of their mandala’s design.

“Mandalas are a symbol of unity,” Ms. Carr said. “Throughout history, they have been created using symmetry, which is such an important part of art and design.”

In addition to learning about math and symmetry, the lesson also focused on color progression and the transition from light to dark.