We are excited to announce a new addition to our curriculum!
This year we have been developing a lesson that we will teach in the Fall called “Big Data Art” in the 6th grade math classes.
We realized that not only did we need to fill a hole in our curriculum for 6th grade, but we also wanted to create
a lesson that was on the cutting edge of Art and how it relates to the STEAM initiative.
Just this May, our Curriculum team, after many months of developing the lesson, actually tested it out with five 6th grade classes
in Ms. Brandy Nelson’s classroom at Fisher Middle School. We had so much fun and excitement, and found out some valuable feedback as well that will help us to edit
and hone our lesson to be taught in the Fall of 2018.
One thing we learned is that we will need to teach the lesson in a 90 minute period
instead of a 45 minutes. We also realized that we needed to simplify the Tally Sheet we gave the students.
Piloting the lesson was very valuable, we were learning on the spot.
After the first time that day we only had one student who finished their Spiral Data Portrait –
but by the end we had our directions down pat and were
able to have a whole class complete the project.
Ms. Nelson was so excited about the lesson she said,
“I’ve been talking with the other 6th grade math teachers about this lesson and we are going to
rearrange our curriculum to be taught at the time the Art Docents will come in to teach this lesson.”
She also was so eager to have her son, who is going to major in Data Analytics this fall in college,
come to school the day we were there to pilot the lesson so he could learn about the subject as well.
What is Big Data Art?
What is the Big Idea about including this art lesson in a math class?
How can we combine a complicated subject and bring it to life for our tech savvy students?
These were the questions we have attempted to answer in this new and exciting lesson.
Our objectives with this lesson cover both Visual Arts Standards as well as Math Standards. The Students will: Students will:
Make connections between art, math and science, as well as career potentials related to these fields.
Enter, observe and analyze data about themselves that will be collected and displayed using a Heat Map.
Record and tally their individual data of how they spend their time on a typical day.
Create a Spiral Data Portrait of themselves called “A Day in the Life of Me”.
Observe and analyze all the 6th graders Spiral Data Portraits collectively in one Big Data Art piece.
The student’s start out with filling in an online Google Form Survey ahead of time
asking them questions about
“Where they were born,” “What’s one country or state they have enjoyed visiting,”
and “ What’s one country/state that they would love to visit.” During our presentation we show the students
a heat map and an interactive map that was generated by their data.
The lesson also covers what a Data Scientist does, different types of info-graphics, charts and now the artwork that different artists are inspired by all this data.
We end the lesson with a project for the students. Students are working on their own “Data Portrait”.
They must first fill in a tally sheet which shows them how much time they devote to different areas of their life.
Then for each 15 minute period will be represented by one dot of the color that coordinates with their
activity. They will put their favorite activity dot color in the center of the Data Spiral.
When all the 6th grade classes are completed we will display all the spirals
(about 550) together as one large BIG DATA ART installation to be viewed by the school.