Lesson: Coppernickel Goes Mondrian
Lesson to be used along with Coppernickel Goes Mondrian, by Wouter van Reek, used with permission from Enchanted Lion Books.
- Visuals of rhythm cards 1 and 2 and visuals 1 and 2 (colored square images).
- Visuals of Mondrian’s art works, Broadway Boogie-Woogie, Victory Boogie-Woogie and Composition A.
- White and black construction paper
- Red, yellow, and blue construction paper, scissors, and glue
- Red, yellow, and blue markers, crayons, or colored pencils.
- After reading book with students, show rhythm card 1 visual.
- Ask students to identify quarter notes and eighth notes. Ask students how the notes are arranged; help them discover that the pattern is the same forwards and backwards.
- Define symmetry.
- Show next rhythm card 2. Ask if this rhythm is also symmetrical (no).
- Define asymmetry and show other images and examples.
- Show visuals of Piet Mondrian’s work, Broadway Boogie-Woogie, Victory Boogie-Woogie and Composition A. Allow students time to discuss.
- Mondrian was inspired by rhythm and music, especially jazz. Show Visual 1.
- Ask students to determine if image is symmetrical or asymmetrical. How many rectangles are in the top row?
- Add colors and notation and show Visual 2.
- Have students speak the colors of the top row aloud (blue, red, blue, white) while teacher plays steady beat on drum.
- Repeat, asking students to think the word “white.”
- Speak the second row of colored squares. Think the word “white.”
- In three groups, have the students play as follows.
- Group One – Play metal percussion instruments on yellow.
- Group Two – Play drums on blue.
- Group Three – Play wooden percussion instruments on red.
- Practice playing the first example again (without words or rhythm).
- Play top row of rectangles, second row, etc., then play two rows, and finally play all four rows.
- Groups trade instruments (metals go to skins, drums to woods, woods to metal); perform again, etc.
The Art Reprise
- While listening to jazz selections, groups will create a similar piece of artwork using red, yellow, blue, and white squares with black lines.
- Using white construction paper as background, cut black construction paper to use as lines.
- Use construction paper, markers, crayons, or colored pencils to create color blocks.
- Have each group decide on instrument timbres for different colors.
- Practice and perform.
- Have each group add movements for each color as they play instruments.
- Have students create a form including an introduction and coda.
- Practice and perform.
This lesson has been reproduced with permission and is an excerpt from Aimee’s book Painted Music. Copyright 2018 by Beatin’ Path Publications.
Download a pdf of Aimee’s lesson here.