Islamic Architecture

Created by Alex Hart, Emily Truant, and Shannon Wrighte
Culture and Math Icon 1

Curriculum – Patterning and Algebra; Visual Art

Patterning and Algebra: describe and represent relationships in growing and shrinking patterns, and investigate repeating patterns involving rotations.

Visual Art, Exploring Forms and Cultural Contexts: demonstrate an understanding of a variety of art forms, styles and techniques from the past, present and their sociocultural and historical contexts.

Goal

To explore patterns in art.

Materials

  • Triangle grid paper – whole page or half
  • Pencils, markers, pencil crayons
  • 10 shapes to use as a stencil or pieces to generate ideas

Lesson
Introduction

  • Provide students with some historical background information regarding Islamic architecture (Appendix A).
  • Review mathematical concepts related – pattern, tessellations, rotation/turn, translation.

Lesson

  • Explain that the students will be creating their own interpretations of Islamic art and architecture – the infinite pattern – using the grid paper (Appendix B).

Activity

  • Students can use the shape pieces (Appendix C) as support to trace or to see the relationships between the shapes or may simply free hand the project.
  • As students are working, show pictures of Islamic art (www.metmuseum.org) to provide inspiration and encourage them to make personal connections to both the art they see and their own work by asking questions such as:
  • Has anyone seen patterns such as these within our neighbourhood
  • Does anyone recognize the shapes that make up various pieces of art?
  • Has anyone noticed any connections between the various shapes? How do they fit together?
  • How can some of the shapes create others?

Closure

  • Have a discussion about their art pieces and about what inspired them.

Possible Extensions

  • Show students a slideshow of examples of the architecture and design.
  • To inspire students as they work, play calm music from Turkey, Persia, Saudi Arabia, Tunisia, or other countries where the designs can be found.
  • Have students bring in examples of Islamic architecture.

*Download the lesson to see all appendices.