Implementation of “Create mosaic or calculate area” (SOI-MT-364)

Author: Gabriella Gauci, Teacher

School/Organization: St Paul’s Missionary College, Rabat, Malta

Mosaic is an art that is easily forgotten, although we are surrounded by different art that celebrates this skill. When going through the Europeana database I came across the Mosaic lesson plan, and I remembered my learners’ interest in Romans and their way of life. When learners saw different pictures on Mosaics | Europeana, they were mesmerised and keen to learn more about this historical aspect of our heritage. The learners were able to understand the diversity of art and what makes each art piece individual and priceless through its uniqueness.

Understanding Diversity through Mosaics

My class consists of twenty-four (24) learners, all of whom are boys, as it is a boys’ school. Learners are either eight (8) or nine (9) years old. Although learners have a weekly art lesson as well as two weekly social studies lessons, they are not familiar with the history of Romans in Malta and how they are part of our Maltese and European heritage.

In Malta, during the month of April, learners are exposed to Easter celebrations and traditions. One of the things that learners see when visiting traditional Good Friday processions is Roman soldiers. The learners’ interest and investigative nature brought about a discussion about the Romans in Malta during our Religion lesson and our Mindfulness session. During the activity itself, we used Math to create our first mosaic before moving on to create individual creations.


As a pre-task, learners were asked to get paper squares of approximately 2cm from home. The colours that they got were dark pink, light pink, white, black, red, dark orange, light orange, white and light blue.

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Resources needed from home

Lesson Duration Plan:- 90mins

Introduction (10 minutes)

Learners were given space to discuss what comes to mind when we discuss Romans. Learners mentioned different aspects, including food, music, entertainment, transport, road, buildings and finally, mosaics. 

Brainstorming about Romans

Learners were then shown different mosaics we find around Europe using the Mosaics | Europeana site. In groups, learners were given time to discuss the different pictures they were seeing and how these could be replicated. 

Maths Activity (30 minutes)

Learners were then given a Maths handout, from which is the source of the resource, that had multiplication exercises, the answers of which corresponded to a range of numbers covered by a colour piece of paper. By solving the clues, learners were able to create a mosaic. Learners were able to work in mixed-ability teams to figure out the picture that was hidden within the mosaic. 

A picture containing text, receipt

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Students working on the mosaic

The final result

Religion and Mindfulness activity (10 minutes)

Learners came back and discussed how they felt throughout the exercise. The discussion was varied and different emotions emerged: some mentioned frustration, whilst others found it relaxing. 

Brainstorming about Mosaic work

Feelings about mosaic

We could then compare and contrast to the previous mindfulness session where we drew.  From this, learners understood that everyone is diverse, and we all need to appreciate and understand that everyone is different and has different emotions that need to be respected. Some like drawing some might prefer mosaic.

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Mindfulness of Day Before

Conclusion (35 minutes)

Learners created their individual mosaics with a twist as they came up with their creative and original creations. These were then shared with the rest of the school community. Examples are seen below.

Students’ work

Evaluations (5 minutes)

Learners could go around their peers’ desks to evaluate and give verbal feedback to others on what they thought about the work that was prepared.

Learners understanding of the importance of Diversity

Maltese Religion Curriculum

I can reflect upon and describe the importance of respecting and valuing diversity in our society.

Maltese Math Curriculum

I can recall the first ten multiples of the following numbers: 2, 3, 4

Maltese PSCD Curriculum – Mindfulness

I understand and express how my feelings and reactions can change depending on what is happening within and around me.


As an educator, I was able to incorporate the following learning outcomes whilst learners through this particular mathematical craft were able to revise their multiplication tables but at the same time create a mosaic and understand that we are all different, but we all count, and our creations are all important and deserve constructive criticism and respect.

I found this session inspiring and educational for the learners and even for myself, as I realised that learners appreciated modern art and art from the past. They could appreciate the care, patience and dedication of someone to do this job. At the same time, they appreciated each other’s work, and when feedback was given, comments consisted of positive criticism, mainly on how to improve one’s work and not to break someone’s morale down. Learners were aware of the different emotions that they and their peers felt.

Advice for those doing this activity is to allow more time during the individual creation mosaic, as some learners ran out of time and asked to finish work at home.

Final thoughts 

This was the first time that I used Europeana resources. I found it very easy to use and implement. Learners were engaged from the beginning, and the resources enhanced the learning experience for the learners. The amount of information I learned while researching how to do this lesson was fascinating. There is so much culture and heritage that it is intertwined, and we teach all this without realising the importance to us and future generations. Looking forward to incorporating more of this resource knowledge in the near future.

Did you find this story of implementation interesting? Why don’t you read about the related learning scenario? Create mosaic or calculate area (EN-CUR-672) created by Marina Kopjar

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CC0 1.0: the featured image used to illustrate this article has been found on Europeana and has been provided by the Museum für Kunst und Gewerbe Hamburg.

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