Implementation of ‘Mondrian and Math lessons’ (SOI-MT-493)


The implementation of the learning scenario “Mondrian and Math” took place within the context of an interdisciplinary lesson merging art appreciation and language development. With a bit of adaptation to the original lesson plan, this lesson was designed for students in the primary years, typically aged between 6 and 7 years old. Conducted in a classroom setting in Malta with a moderate-sized group of students, the lesson aimed to foster students’ understanding of adjectives while simultaneously cultivating their appreciation for visual art. By leveraging digital resources from the Europeana website, students were immersed in the vibrant world of Piet Mondrian’s artworks, engaging in discussions that encouraged critical thinking and observation. Through hands-on activities such as creating Mondrian-inspired board games and crafting descriptive sentences, students actively participated in the learning process, linking listening, speaking, reading, and writing skills. Implementing this learning scenario provided students with a dynamic and enriching educational experience that bridged the gap between art and language, fostering creativity, collaboration, and linguistic development.

The Narrative

Structure of the Session

  • Introduction to Mondrian’s Artworks and Adjectives: 20 minutes
  • Creating Mondrian-Inspired Board Games: 30 minutes
  • Game Play and Sentence Writing: 30 minutes

Introduction to Mondrian’s Artworks and Adjectives (20 minutes)

I began the session by showcasing various illustrations of Piet Mondrian’s artworks sourced from the Europeana website, mirroring the approach used in the learning scenario. We embarked on a group discussion, analyzing the use of boxes and colours in Mondrian’s compositions, which aligned with the initial learning scenario. However, I expanded upon this by seamlessly introducing and linking these visual elements to descriptive language. By prompting students to articulate their observations using adjectives, this segment served as a foundation for introducing the concept of adjectives within the context of Mondrian’s art. Through this integrated approach, students honed their visual analysis skills and began to develop their ability to describe and express themselves using descriptive language, laying the groundwork for the subsequent activities in the session. All the adjectives that the children came up with were written on the board as a visual cue to help them in the next phase of the lesson.

Figure 1: Showing photos of Mondrian’s work from the Europeana website to the students

Creating Mondrian-Inspired Board Games (30 minutes)

Following the analysis of Mondrian’s artworks and the introduction of descriptive language, students were divided into pairs and provided with drawing supplies. Mirroring the learning scenario, they were tasked with reimagining Mondrian’s artwork and creating their own version, which would eventually be used to form a board game grid, incorporating squares of various colours and sizes. Each square served as a space for students to write an adjective, expanding upon their understanding of descriptive language and preparing for the next phase of the lesson. This hands-on activity not only encouraged creativity but also reinforced the connection between visual elements and descriptive language, laying the groundwork for the application of adjectives in the subsequent gameplay.

Figure 2: Creating an outline for their board game inspired by Mondrian’s work.
Figure 3: Completing their board game
Figure 4: Writing different adjectives onto the board game.

Game Play and Sentence Writing (30 minutes)

With the completion of their Mondrian-inspired board game grids, students eagerly transitioned into gameplay. Rolling dice not only introduced another learning outcome related to math “recognising that when a dice is thrown, we can identify patterns” but also prompted students to recognize patterns as they moved their game pieces across the colorful grids, fostering mathematical reasoning and problem-solving skills. When landing on a square, students read aloud the adjective written within it, reinforcing their vocabulary and pronunciation skills. This process also contributed to the English learning outcomes of “Applying critical reading and viewing to a variety of literary selections and informational/functional texts from print and non-print sources.”

When landing on a square, students read aloud the adjective written within it, reinforcing their vocabulary and pronunciation skills. Then, in a creative application of language learning, students used the adjectives from each square to form descriptive sentences, incorporating another English learning outcome “demonstrating their ability to produce a variety of texts for creative, personal, and functional purposes”. This process encouraged critical thinking and linguistic creativity as students crafted sentences using the adjective that they landed on, thereby reinforcing their understanding of adjectives through written expression. Finally, students wrote down their sentences in their copybooks, solidifying their language skills and demonstrating their ability to apply critical reading and viewing to textual analysis. This integrated approach to gameplay not only engaged students in a fun and interactive activity but also provided opportunities for cross-curricular learning, reinforcing concepts from mathematics and language arts simultaneously.

Figure 5: Writing sentences using the adjectives from the board game in their copybooks.


To conclude the lesson, the children shared their board games and sentences, providing a platform to showcase their creativity and linguistic abilities. Each student took turns presenting their Mondrian-inspired board game, explaining its concept, and describing the colours and sizes used. As they shared their sentences, classmates listened attentively, absorbing the descriptive language used. Following each presentation, students engaged in a feedback session, offering constructive comments and commendations to their peers. This collaborative sharing and feedback process fostered a sense of community and appreciation within the classroom, allowing students to celebrate each other’s achievements and further solidify their understanding of adjectives in a supportive learning environment.

Adaptations to the Resource

To adapt the learning scenario to the needs and interests of my students, I ensured that the artworks selected from the Europeana website were age-appropriate and visually engaging, providing a captivating learning experience. Additionally, I offered clear instructions and examples to guide students in creating their Mondrian-inspired board games, fostering creativity while maintaining alignment with the learning objectives. To facilitate the activity, I provided all necessary materials, including drawing supplies, game pieces, dice, and copybooks, minimizing barriers to participation and creating a supportive learning environment conducive to exploration and discovery. These adaptations enhanced student engagement and participation, ultimately enriching the learning experience and promoting meaningful learning outcomes.

Collaboration with Colleagues

While I implemented the learning scenario independently, I collaborated with the Learning Support Educators in my class during the planning phase to brainstorm ideas on how best to accommodate the students with statements of need. We exchanged insights and feedback to ensure that the educational activity aligned with curriculum goals and provided meaningful learning experiences for all the students. Additionally, I shared the outcomes of the activity with colleagues, fostering a culture of collaboration and professional development within the educational community.


Among Students

Reading, Writing, Listening and Speaking Skills

Through engaging activities such as analyzing Mondrian’s artworks and reading descriptive sentences aloud, students enhanced their reading comprehension skills. Engaging with descriptive language within the art context allowed them to practice decoding and interpreting written text effectively. Additionally, crafting descriptive sentences for their board games provided valuable opportunities for students to practice writing using adjectives. By composing sentences that included adjectives, students refined their ability to express themselves effectively in written form. During the sharing session, where students presented their board games and sentences, classmates listened attentively to each other’s presentations, fostering active listening skills as they absorbed the descriptive language used by their peers and engaged with the shared content. Furthermore, presenting their board games and sentences to the class required students to communicate clearly and effectively. By elucidating the concept behind their game and describing their artwork and sentences, students practiced articulating their thoughts and ideas verbally, strengthening their speaking skills.

Improved Understanding of Adjectives

Implementing the learning scenario facilitated a deeper understanding of adjectives among students. Students honed their ability to identify and use adjectives effectively by engaging in activities such as analyzing Mondrian’s artwork and creating descriptive sentences for their board games.

Enhanced Vocabulary and Language Skills

Students expanded their vocabulary and language skills by exploring descriptive language in the context of Mondrian’s art. By describing colours, sizes, and other characteristics of Mondrian’s compositions, students developed their ability to express themselves more vividly and accurately.

Critical Thinking and Creativity

The hands-on activities in the learning scenario encouraged critical thinking and creativity among students. By reimagining Mondrian’s artworks as board games and crafting descriptive sentences, students exercised their imaginative abilities and explored new ways of expressing themselves artistically and linguistically.

What I, as an Educator, Gained

Utilization of Europeana Resources

Implementing the learning scenario allowed me to effectively utilize the resources available on Europeana, enriching the learning experience for my students. By accessing high-quality images of Mondrian’s artworks, I was able to provide students with a visually stimulating and culturally enriching learning environment.

Integration of Art and Language Instruction

The learning scenario provided an opportunity to integrate art and language instruction seamlessly. By exploring Mondrian’s art and using it as a springboard for language activities, I demonstrated the interconnectedness of different disciplines and fostered a holistic approach to learning.

Professional Growth and Development

Implementing the learning scenario allowed me to experience professional growth and development as an educator. By designing and facilitating engaging activities that catered to diverse learning styles and interests, I enhanced my instructional skills and deepened my understanding of how to effectively integrate art and language instruction in the classroom.

Link to the learning scenario implemented: Mondrian and Math lessons (LS-RS-344)

Do you want to discover more stories of implementation? Click here.

CC BY 4.0: the featured image used to illustrate this article has been found on Europeana and has been provided by the Finnish Heritage Agency.

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