The Scenario and Challenge


The challenge in this project is for students to use triangular shapes to create a piece of art that they can defend as ‘beautiful.’ They must craft and think through their criteria for their artwork, rather than merely create it, and be able to explain the criteria to peers. In the early stages of the project, students will explore triangles in art to learn how this shape has influenced artistic design. 

The Scenario and Challenge

Students should choose their own art piece. The choices will vary with classes and teacher discretion. Possibilities include: a poster for a room; a piece of fine art; an image of a person represented in triangles; a drawing of a mandala; fingernail art; or a tattoo. Each piece will be individually designed. However, students will work throughout the project in small cohorts as they proceed on their design.

Students must also be able to answer the Driving Question by demonstrating that their art piece is ‘beautiful,’ according to criteria they will develop with their cohort. They must also be able to explain the kinds of triangles and how they were used in one other piece of art created by another student.

The Art of Triangles Project is designed to engage students in the study of geometry by having them use their knowledge of congruence and similarity in various types of triangles to create artwork. Students will be expected to know how triangles have influenced art and symmetry, and how they can use triangles in their own designs. They must be able to discern and describe triangles in a piece of artwork, and explain the properties of the four types of triangles. They must also know how to bisect triangles and prove theorems for triangles.

The project will conclude with an exam and a gallery of creations. Students will view the gallery of designs and reflect on them.

The crucial aspect of the project is the final product. Students will be expected to use their knowledge and skill to create a poster, drawing, or personal adornment that employs triangles to make it ‘beautiful.’ Students should be able to describe, in their own words why their product is ‘beautiful.’ Other students must be able to identify and explain the use of triangles in the artwork.

The Driving Question

Present this Driving Question to your students:

How can I use a variety of triangles to create a poster, drawing, or personal adornment that meets the criteria for 'beautiful' artwork?