Lesson Plan: Scale Picture Re-creation
Student Learning Objectives
  • Students will compute an appropriate scale from an original work of art.
  • Students will apply their scale in the re-creation of a work of art with accuracy.
  • Students will choose an appropriate art medium with which to complete their own artwork.
  • Students will accurately construct triangles in order to complete their portion of the artwork.

CCSS.Math.Content.7.RP.2, CCSS.Math.Content.7.G.1, CCSS.Math.Content.7.G.2

Visual Arts

7.V.3.2, 7.CX.2.2

Written by Jessica Mullen, Math Teacher
Essential Question: How is scale used in art?
Abstract: Students will apply scale through the re-creation of a work of art.
  1. Display the Roman Mosaic on a projector and have the class discuss what they notice. Encourage students to make connections to mathematical connections such as different geometric shapes, line structure, symmetry. Zoom in to small parts of the Mosaic to discuss finer details and how they play out in the whole work.
  2. Discuss the original dimensions of the work of art (98 ½ x 99 ½ x 2 ½ in.) and the size of the picture being projected. Calculate the scale factor of the model (picture 5 x 5 in.) vs. the actual work of art. Make sure students recognize which measurement (2 ½ in.) will not be usable and why (real work is 3D, picture is 2D).
  3. Explain that, together, the class will be re-creating the work in a more manageable size and only two-dimensional (suggested size: 40 x 40 in., divides up into 25 pieces.) The print-out grid will be cut into 1.5 x 1.5 in. squares. The class will work together to determine an appropriate scale that everyone will use for the project. Suggested scale above yields 1 in. on student artwork = ⅛ in. from student piece of the actual Mosaic.
  4. Have students agree upon what materials the class will use to create their mosaic model. Have an assortment of materials available to help them make a group decision. Options may include construction paper, colored pencils and paper, paint and paper, colored foil.
  5. Model how to create one piece. Show how to measure a piece of the mosaic and draw it onto an 8 x 8 in. piece of paper. Discuss best approaches to collaboration with students and how precise measurements are critical to the finished product.
  • Participation, notes, and development of the scale may be used to evaluate students’ understanding of scale.
  • Precision of the geometric shapes will be used to evaluate students’ use of measurement tools in creation of art.
  • The relationship of the students’ pieces to one another will be used to evaluate how students used measurement tools and collaborated with classmates for accuracy.

scale factor
inches (or centimeters)
feet (or meters)

  • 8 x 8 in. white scrapbook paper (or the back of ugly paper)
  • Two color printouts of Mosaic with one divided up into 1.5 in. squares and the other one with a grid as a guide for putting together the class re-creation
  • Variety of art supplies
  • Rulers and pencils
Lesson Plan Document

Mosaic floors decorated the homes of wealthy Roman citizens. The size of this mosaic suggests that it may have been in a house’s atrium (a colonnaded court, partially open to the sky) covering a cistern where rainwater was collected. As the water flowed over the mosaic, the brightly colored stone and green glass tiles of the geometric and floral patterns would have sparkled.

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