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  • Writer's pictureLouise Worner

Practicing Geometry Through Ikebana

As a former adult education and primary school teacher, I am aware of the different learning styles and the need to break down the silos of learning that often exist, especially within the Spanish education system. I am a firm believer in the interconnection of school subjects, and with this in mind I developed an ikebana lesson for children focussed on geometry.

To help my youngest daughter understand geometry, in Spanish, I developed a lesson based on shapes and angles in which she would be able to use a Kinesthetic (tactile) approach to learning whilst practicing Spanish language. First, we revised the Spanish vocabulary for different shapes, analysed the types of angles these shapes required (acute/ obtuse/ right angles) as well as the relation of lines towards one another (parallel/ intersecting). I then asked her to find vases in the studio that matched each of the shapes, and to place them in different categories on the table. For me it was a sneaky, yet fun, way to get her to revise maths while schools were closed due to Storm Filomena.

Cutting the leaf into a rectangle

We revised the concept of parallel lines, and her first task was to cut Monstera leaves into different quadrilateral shapes. To provide variety in the arrangement, I suggested cutting the shapes different sizes. After cutting three leaves into different sized rectangles, she chose a vase and a kenzan and placed the leaves.

Placing the first leaf

I reminded her of the importance to cover the mouth of the vase a little and to also keep some negative space between the leaves. To make the arrangement more interesting she also used the underside of one of the leaves.

Placing the second leaf- using the underside as a contrast in colour and texture

Once the leaves were placed, she added some carnations to create a mass of colour among the leaves.

Placing the third leaf- making sure the mouth of the vase is slightly covered by a leaf...

When she had completed her arrangement, I asked her to show me the areas of negative space, as well as the location of the parallel lines. To reinforce her Spanish language skills, I also asked her to name (in Spanish) all the different shapes, and angles that she could find, as well as the types of lines.

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