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Cross-Curricular Projects in 6th Grade: Frank Lloyd Wright

By: Sixth Grade Teacher Rachel Price

March 8, 2022

In Sixth Grade math, we recently finished our “window project”, which takes place at the end of our geometry unit and centers on Frank Lloyd Wright’s iconic leaded glass windows. This project calls on student’s reading, art, and math skills! I love collaborating with other teachers across subjects to create projects like this one that engage students on various levels.

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This project starts with a two-day introduction into the life and work of Frank Lloyd Wright. As students learn about Wright through various articles, they use the annotation and bullet note strategies that they’ve learned in reading class to summarize and synthesize the information. We also watch videos that take students through tours of the Falling Water and Ennis houses in Pennsylvania and Los Angeles, respectively. The auditory comprehension that students practice throughout their time at Rossman helps them listen for key details and glean information from the videos.

After learning about Wright’s life and work, we study prints of his window designs, working to find parallel lines, transversals, and angle pairs. This is where the math comes in! Students are given a choice in which window design they’d like to analyze, and are often intrigued to see how symmetrical and precise Wright’s work is. 

Lastly, students are tasked with creating a window design that is inspired by Wright’s style. I enjoyed consulting with Erica Spangler, our art teacher, in order to find a way to mimic Wright’s leaded glass window aesthetic. Students use black crayon to trace their design onto watercolor paper, and then paint panels of their windows using watercolor. I always love seeing how unique the window designs are; each child puts their own spin on Wright’s style and create something they’re really proud of. 

This project is one of my favorites because I get to see the many facets and talents of our students in action. There is at least one aspect of this project that will appeal to any child. Not a “math person”? You’ll enjoy reading about Wright! Don’t love art? There are other parts of the project in which you will excel. Love painting with watercolor? You’ll get an opportunity to do that...after you’ve done a little bit of math! 

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Rossman School, nestled on a 20-acre campus in St. Louis, is a private preparatory school for students in Junior Kindergarten (four years old) through Grade 6. The school’s mission is to provide a strong, well-balanced education in a nurturing school community committed to excellence. Dedicated to developing personal, nurturing relationships with each child, Rossman’s experienced educators provide a solid foundation in academics, athletics and arts while emphasizing strong character development and leadership skills.​ Request a free Rossman School brochure here.

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