**ARTS**

Use our activity to introduce students to math, poetry, and nature.

*Teachers, scroll down for a quick list of key resources in our Teachers Toolkit.*

**Discussion Ideas**

- One of the primary characteristics shared by many forms of poetry and math is the use of formulas. How does mathematics use formulas?
- Formulas, usually in the form of equations, are the primary way mathematics is communicated. Mathematical formulas are rules describing the relationship between variables. Because formulas are stable, if a mathematician knows only some of the variables, they can often figure out what the missing ones are. (Algebra!)
- Mathematical formulas are usually expressed as letters and symbols.
- Example: The formula a
^{2}+b^{2}=c^{2}is known as the Pythagorean theorem. A and B are the shorter sides of any right triangle, and C is the triangle’s hypotenuse, or longest side. If a mathematician knows any two of those numbers, they can solve for the third. (Geometry!)

- Example: The formula a

- Mathematical formulas are usually expressed as letters and symbols.

- Formulas, usually in the form of equations, are the primary way mathematics is communicated. Mathematical formulas are rules describing the relationship between variables. Because formulas are stable, if a mathematician knows only some of the variables, they can often figure out what the missing ones are. (Algebra!)

- How does poetry use formulas?
- Many forms of poetry use numeric formulas. The formulas usually indicate a prescribed number of syllables that the define the type of poem, or poetic form used. For example:
*haiku.*A haiku is a poem of three lines and a total of 17 syllables: five syllables on the first line, seven on the second line, and five on the last line. Learn more with our activity.*sonnet.*A sonnet is a poem of 14 lines, with 10 syllables on each line. Here are 14 lines about Monterey pines.*cinquain.*A cinquain poem is a verse of five lines that do not rhyme. Use our video to help students compose cinquain poems.

- Many forms of poetry use numeric formulas. The formulas usually indicate a prescribed number of syllables that the define the type of poem, or poetic form used. For example:

*JoAnne Growney’s blog *Intersections—Poetry with Mathematics* includes a broad range of poems with mathematical themes or built using mathematical rules. Try a few with your class!*

*Try a snowball!*

A snowball is a poem in which each line increases or decreases by one letter, word, or syllable. Here’s one with syllables.

I

wasn’t

about to

try this but I

wanted to see how

hard it would be

to complete.

It’s hard.

Darn.

Try a geo-snowball!

The

newest

GIS

technology

uses layers and

cartography

to create

maps.

*Try Fibs!*

Model your poems on the Fibonacci sequence: In a Fib, each line’s syllable or letter is the sum of the previous two lines: 1, 1, 2, 3, 5, 8, 13, 21 …

I

am

tired

of writing

so many poems

in such a short amount of time.

Please read this blog and at least let me know it’s worth it.

Try geo-Fibs! Incorporate a geographic term or concept.

Go

North

to find

the Arctic,

then continue west.

You might find the Northwest Passage

which eluded many sailors on their epic quests.

*Try an N+7!*

Grab a dictionary and your favorite short poem. This is an instance where*a big, booky dictionary*is much, much more useful than a digital version. It’s also great for spelling and browsing. (We’re using*American Heritage*because it’s beautiful and the Nat Geo Library let us check it out even though it’s a reference book!)- An N+7 is a poem in which every major noun is replaced by the seventh noun following it in the dictionary.

*Resume,* by Dorothy Parker

Razors pain you,

Rivers are damp,

Acids stain you,

And drugs cause cramp.

Guns aren’t lawful,

Nooses give,

Gas smells awful.

You might as well live.

*Resume +7ish*

Razor clams pain you,

The Riviera is damp,

Acidophilus milk stains you,

And Druids cause cramp*.*

Gunfights aren’t lawful*,*

Nordic folk give*,*

Gashes smell awful.

You might as well live.

Try a geo+7! Replace major nouns with geographic terms and concepts having the same number of syllables.

Climate changes,

Rivers are damp

Species have ranges

We protested stamps.

Guns can be lawful,

We need energy,

News can be awful.

Learn geography.

**TEACHERS TOOLKIT**

*Smithsonian:* How Poetry and Math Intersect

*Nat Geo:* Plankton Migration/Haiku Creation (haiku)

*Nat Geo:* Pining Away (sonnet)

*Nat Geo:* I Am From: Poem (cinquain)

informative post.. 🙂