Mathematics in writing and art: cross-curricular connections and a focus on the sestina

Sestina resources:

“I did not have a very literary background. I came to poetry from the sciences and mathematics, and also through an interest in Japanese and Chinese poetry in translation.” – Robert Morgan

Math and poetry resources:

“Pure mathematics is, in its way, the poetry of logical ideas” – Albert Einstein

Math in art resources:

“A mathematician, like a painter or a poet, is a maker of patterns…. The mathematician’s patterns, like the painter’s or the poet’s must be beautiful; the ideas like the colours or the words, must fit together in a harmonious way. Beauty is the first test.” – Hardy qtd. in “Why Writers Should Learn Math”

Satire

Assignment:

Create written and illustrated satirical works (one each – written and art). The two pieces do not have to match. You will create a spread for your written and illustrated work.

  • Spread
    • Document dimensions:
      • Lit. mag.: 9 x 7
      • Newspaper: 8.5 x 11
    • Upload PDF into Google Folder
      • Make PDF: 1) File 2) Export 3) PDF (print–not interactive) 4) Save as 5) Upload file into Google Drive and put in shared file
  • Written piece
    • length: minimum 250 words and maximum 500 words
    • Must use irony, sarcasm and exaggeration appropriately in order to make your audience think–you must have a point and use wit effectively.
    • Submit as Google Doc
  • Art piece
    • Create a satirical illustration by using the Illustrator
    • Upload Illustrator file into Google Drive

“Building Shapes and Using the Pen Tool in InDesign and Illustrator” – videos 1-6

Terms:

  • Irony
  • Sarcasm
  • Exaggeration

Resources:

Suggestions for further reading:

Common Core:

*Standard descriptions may be summarized and modified to include assignment rationale/purpose in parentheses

“English Language Arts Standards” by Common Core State Standards Initiative

  • RI.9-10.8
    • Delineate and evaluate the argument and specific claims in a text, assessing whether the reasoning is valid and the evidence is relevant and sufficient; identify false statements and fallacious reasoning.
  • RI.9-10.2
    • Determine a central idea of a text and analyze its development over the course of the text, including how it emerges and is shaped and refined by specific details; provide an objective summary of the text.
  • RL.11-12.6
    • Analyze a case in which grasping a point of view requires distinguishing what is directly stated in a text from what is really meant (e.g., satire, sarcasm, irony, or understatement).
  • W 9-10.4
    • (Produce clear and coherent writing in which the development, organization, and style are appropriate to task, purpose, and audience). 
  • SL: 1-4 — Critiquing process and class discussions
    • ([P]articipate effectively in a range of collaborative discussions […] with diverse partners […] building on others’ ideas and expressing their own clearly)
    • (Present information […] concisely, and logically such that listeners can follow the line of reasoning and the organization, development, substance, and style are appropriate to purpose, audience, and task)
  • L. 9-10.5 — Critiquing process
    • Demonstrate understanding of figurative language, word relationships, and nuances in word meanings.
      • (Interpret figures of speech (e.g., euphemism, oxymoron) in context and analyze their role in the text).
      • (Analyze nuances in the meaning of words with similar denotations).
  • W 9-10.5 — Brainstorming, revisions after critiques
    • (Develop and strengthen writing as needed by planning, revising, editing, rewriting or trying a new approach, focusing on addressing what is most significant for a specific purpose and audience).
  • W 9-10.6 — Using BPS Google Drive/Docs to store and submit work for publication
    • (Use technology, including the Internet, to produce, publish, and update individual or shared writing products, taking advantage of technology’s capacity to link to other information and to display information flexibly and dynamically).