Just Following Instructions

By Tiffany Davis

Subject: Math, Art, DLCS
Grade Level: 2
Standards: MA STE, DLCS, Art, Math & ELA (Common Core)

Can you program a robot to create a Sol LeWitt-inspired geometric wall drawing?

American artist Sol LeWitt is best known for his instructional wall drawings. A proponent of minimalist, conceptual art, LeWitt famously hired other people to create installations using his written directions. The mathematical nature of LeWitt’s directions, which reference lines, shapes, angles, and patterns make LeWitt’s work a great starting point for STEAM learning.

The title of this project, “Just Following Instructions,” refers to more than LeWitt’s method for creating art. Students not only write mathematically-based instructions for making a drawing, much like LeWitt’s, but also translate those instructions into code that a robot can follow.

STE, Math, ELA & Visual Arts Standards

Grade 2.Geometry A. Reason with shapes and their attributes.

K-2.CT.d.3: Individually or collaboratively, create a simple program using visual instructions or tools that do not require a textual programming language (e.g., “unplugged” programming activities, a block-based programming language).

2.K-2-ETS1-3. Analyze data from tests of two objects designed to solve the same design problem to compare the strengths and weaknesses of how each object performs.

Visual Arts 2.2, 2.4, 2.5, 2.6

ELA, Grade 2 Speaking and Listening Standards [SL] & Language Standards [L]

  • Comprehension and Collaboration
  • Presentation of Knowledge and Ideas
  • Vocabulary Acquisition and Use