An Art, Math, and Writing Trifecta Brings Perspective to Sixth Graders

You never really understand a person until you consider things from their point of view.”

Harper Lee

This quote was at the heart of an annual sixth-grade lesson that took place this week at MICDS and Laumeier Sculpture Park. Sixth graders got to merge three concepts to understand the notion of perspective. “This project asks students to bring their artistic, mathematical, and story-telling skills to the table,” explains Middle School Math Teacher Dustin Delfin. “It gives them the opportunity to examine different perspectives while collaborating with peers and learning with curiosity and joy.”

The lesson, “One Sculpture-Three Stories,” began with students first learning the mathematical concepts of measurement, scale, and proportional reasoning. On Monday, they then embarked on a field trip to Laumeier Sculpture Park, an open-air sculpture museum in Sunset Hills. At the park, each student was assigned one sculpture for which they recorded its measurements.

Back on campus on Tuesday, students created scaled-down replicas of their assigned sculptures in the art studio and also co-authored a fictional story about the sculpture. Then, they presented their sculpture replicas and stories to their classmates for the final step of the project.

Students who worked with the same sculpture were in the same presentation group, so they saw and heard different creative perspectives about the same sculpture that they studied. The cross-curricular trifecta is tied together as students better understand their own viewpoints and biases while also appreciating different points of view, approaches, interpretations, and—you guessed it— perspectives.

What did students think about the Laumeier project? Check out their answers below!

  • “I loved building the model because I love hands-on activities and seeing the structure come to life.” ~Timo Finnegan ’29
  • “I loved the math part of the Laumeier experience because it involved scaling down dimensions from a huge sculpture to building a tiny sculpture; I also loved the origin story of my sculpture because it used the creativity part of my brain.” ~Soham Gadi ’29
  • “The math part at Laumeier required us to work together to measure the entirety of the structure; it was so much fun working together to complete all of the measurements of the giant sculpture.” ~Evan Gao ’29

Way to go, sixth-grade artists, mathematicians, and writers!