Learning Resource Type

Learning Activity

Creating Art Using Ratios

Subject Area

Arts Education




Students will review the concept of ratios by creating a work of art based on ratio relationships.

This activity was created as a result of the Arts COS Resource Development Summit.

    Mathematics (2019) Grade(s): 6


    Use appropriate notations [a/b, a to b, a:b] to represent a proportional relationship between quantities and use ratio language to describe the relationship between quantities.

    Unpacked Content



    • Ratio
    • Ratio Language
    • Part-to-Part
    • Part-to-Whole
    • Attributes
    • Quantity
    • Measures
    • Fraction


    Students know:
    • Characteristics of additive situations.
    • Characteristics of multiplicative situations


    Students are able to:
    • Compare and contrast additive vs. multiplicative contextual situations.
    • Identify all ratios and describe them using "For every…, there are…"
    • Identify a ratio as a part-to-part or a part-to whole comparison.
    • Represent multiplicative comparisons in ratio notation and language (e.g., using words such as "out of" or "to" before using the symbolic notation of the colon and then the fraction bar. for example, 3 out of 7, 3 to 5, 6:7 and then 4/5).


    Students understand that:
    • In a multiplicative comparison situation one quantity changes at a constant rate with respect to a second related quantity. -Each ratio when expressed in forms: ie 10/5, 10:5 and/or 10 to 5 can be simplified to equivalent ratios, -Explain the relationships and differences between fractions and ratios.
    Arts Education (2017) Grade(s): 6 - Visual Arts


    Develop new ideas through open-ended experiments, using various materials, methods and approaches in creating works of art.

    Unpacked Content



    • Artistic ideas and work
    • Formal and conceptual vocabulary
    • Innovation
    • Investigation
    • Two-dimensional
    • Three-dimensional
    • Experimentation
    • Conservation
    • Craftsmanship
    • Linear perspective
    • Environmental responsibility
    • Prior knowledge
    • Museum
    • Gallery
    • Curator
    • Digital
    • Horizon Line
    • Brainstorming
    • Research

    Essential Questions

    EU: Artists and designers experiment with forms, structures, materials, concepts, media, and artmaking approaches.
    EQ: How do artists work? How do artists and designers determine whether a particular direction in their work is effective? How do artists and designers learn from trial and error?

    Skills Examples

    • Make, share and revise a list of ideas and preliminary sketches.
    • Use introductory skills, techniques, and elements of art to create a composition
    • Demonstrate drawing techniques, such as hatching, cross-hatching, shading, and stippling.
    • Create a group project about a current or world event.
    • Examine careers and identify and role - play various jobs of artists.
    • Research a subject or idea that has personal meaning to create a work of art.
    • Use the elements of visual arts to create an artwork that depicts emotions.
    • Use a variety of media and techniques in two and three dimensions to create imagery from experience, observation and imagination.
    • Demonstrate proper clean-up and/or disposal of equipment and materials.
    • Demonstrate art room safety and procedures.
    • Design an environmentally area for the school such as a library or other multi-use learning area.
    • Engage for the purpose of personal reflection and ongoing revision, in group critiques.
    • Reflect through journal writing artist intent.

    Anchor Standards

    Anchor Standard 2: Organize and develop artistic ideas and work.


    Learning Objectives

    Learning Objectives

    Students will demonstrate their knowledge of ratios by applying it to create an original work of art.

    Students will use ratio language to describe the ratio relationship in their work of art. 

    Activity Details

    The student(s) will:

    1.) review the concept of ratio.

    2.) create an original work of art using a variety of materials that illustrates ratio relationships. For example:

    • Create a ratio bracelet and explain the ratio of beads (i.e. 3 red for every 2 green and 1 yellow).
    • Create a collage or painting and explain the ratio of colors, shapes, sizes, etc. (i.e. for every 3 squares, there are 2 circles and 2 triangles).

    3.) Students will share their works of art and explain what ratio(s) they used.

    Assessment Strategies

    Assessment Strategies

    Determine if the students understand ratios by checking to make sure that the ratio used in their work of art is correct.

    Determine if the students developed a new idea and used various methods and/or materials by observing their final products.

    Background and Preparation

    Background / Preparation

    In order for the students to be creative, a variety of materials should be available for them to use and experiment with, such as:

    • Beads
    • Jewelry making wire, clasps, crimps, etc.
    • Construction paper
    • Magazines for collage
    • Paints & paintbrushes
    • Clay or Model Magic
    • Glitter, sequins, etc.
    • Markers, crayons, colored pencils