Math Through Art

Grades: K-8
Tour length:
 1.5 hours 
900 S. Beretania Street
 Tuesday – Friday
 9 + 10:30am
Group Size:
 60 maximum
Request this tour: Fall 2015 | Spring 2016

​Help your students prepare for the tour in two ways: Have an interactive discussion about museum etiquette. ​Practice looking at art. Click here for more information.​


During this activity-filled tour, the galleries turn into math laboratories as the students use art to explore concepts of scale, ratio, perspective, pattern, symmetry and proportion. Students will discover how artists used math concepts to create art. They will see landscape paintings from Italy and learn one-point perspective to show depth on a two-dimensional surface. They will visit the Islamic gallery and create infinite patterns; they will calculate, measure and draw human proportions through modern portraits from the United States, France and Mexico, and an ancient Egyptian relief sculpture. Younger students will classify and categorize objects and determine the differences between symmetry and asymmetry while looking at paintings. Older students will create geometric sculptures after observing a variety of shapes and forms. All students will create a work of art in a human Spirograph. The tour offers multiple opportunities to enjoy art and practice math skills in fun ways! A take home math booklet is provided. After the tour, all students receive a Parent Pass to bring two adults to the museum for a return visit.

Students will receive this booklet to use on the tour and to take back to the classroom. 


Days: Tuesdays and Thursdays
Tour length: 3 hours
Times: Tour begins at 9am; art-making begins at 10:30am
Fee: There is a $4 fee per student to add an art-making lesson to this tour. 
Request this tour: Fall 2015 | Spring 2016

​For an additional fee of $4 per student, your class can participate in a studio art-making experience with a professional art instructor that coordinates with the guided tour. Students will collect data on the tour and turn this data into an amazing 3-D object.


Continue your museum experience back at school! Borrow artifacts related to your tour from the Lending Collection to use in the classroom. The Lending Collection is a free resource for island educators. Pre-packaged object trunks available for some tours, or hand pick objects from the collection for any tour. Contact Beth Pooloa,

Artwork on this tour:

Fernand Léger (French, 1881-1955), Abstraction, 1926

Leonard Coccorante (Italian, 1680-1750) Harbor with Roman Ruins, 1740-1740

Male Figure. Egypt, 2350-2170 B.C. Limestone with traces of polychrome.

State of Hawaii Department of Education

Classify objects and count the number of objects in each category.

K.MD.3 Classify objects into given categories; count the numbers of objects in each category and sort the categories by count. (Limit category counts to be less than or equal to 10.)

Measure and estimate lengths in standard units.
1. MD.1 Order three objects by length; compare the lengths of two objects indirectly by using a third object.
2.MD.1 Measure the length of an object by selecting and using appropriate tools such as rulers, yardsticks, meter sticks, and measuring tapes.
2.MD.3 Estimate lengths using units of inches, feet, centimeters, and meters.  

Geometric measurement
3.MD.6 Measure areas by counting unit squares (square cm, square m, square in, square ft, and improvised units). Solve problems involving measurement and conversion of measurements from a larger unit to a smaller unit.
4.MD.1 Know relative sizes of measurement units within one system of units including km, m, cm; kg, g; lb, oz.; l, ml; hr, min, sec. Within a single system of measurement, express measurements in a larger unit in terms of smaller unit.  

Identify and describe shapes
K.G.1 Describe objects in the environment using names of shapes, and describe the relative positions of these objects using terms such as above, below, beside, in front of, behind, and next to.
K.G.2 Correctly name shapes regardless of their orientations or overall size.
K.G.3 Identify shapes as two-dimensional (lying in a plane, "flat") or three-dimensional ("solid"). 

Reason with shapes and their attributes.
1.G.1 Distinguish between defining attributes (e.g., triangles are closed and three-sided) versus non-defining attributes (e.g., color, orientation, overall size) for a wide variety of shapes; build and draw shapes to possess defining attributes. 

Draw and identify lines and angles, and classify shapes by properties of their lines and angles.
4.G.2 Classify two-dimensional figures based on the presence or absence of parallel or perpendicular lines, or the presence or absence of angles of specified size. Recognize right triangles as a category, and identify right triangles.
4.G.3 Recognize a line of symmetry for a two-dimensional figure as a line across the figure such that the figure can be folded along the line into matching parts. Identify line-symmetric figures and draw lines of symmetry.  


Understand ratio concepts and use ratio reasoning to solve problems.
6.RP.1 Understand the concept of a ratio and use ratio language to describe a ratio relationship between two quantities. For example, "The ratio of wings to beaks in the bird house at the zoo was 2:1, because for every 2 wings there was 1 beak." "For every vote candidate A received, candidate C received nearly three votes."  

Work with equal groups of objects to gain foundations for multiplication.
2.OA  Determine whether a group of objects (up to 20) has an odd or even number of members, e.g., by pairing objects or counting them by 2s; write an equation to express an even number as a sum of two equal addends.

Return to guided school tours.