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Constructing Circles (lesson plan)


Students will construct concentric circles using a compass, then plan and design a piece of art using Frank Stella’s Raqqa II for inspiration. Students will also be able to identify and demonstrate an understanding of the relationship between the parts of a circle.

Grade Levels
7th Grade
Subject Areas
Math, Visual Arts
Impact, Part/Whole
NC Standards Correlations
Visual Arts
7.V.3.1, 7.CX.2.2, 7.CR.1.1

Artwork Related to this Lesson

Student Learning Objectives

  1. Students will demonstrate their knowledge of parts of circles and their relationships.
  2. Students will use appropriate tools to construct circles of given dimension.
  3. Students will find the circumference and area of the circles they construct.
  4. Students will analyze a work of art.
  5. Students will plan and create original works of art using the concentric circles.
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1. Before beginning the lesson, students should be able to define and identify or calculate the following parts of a circle: center, radius, diameter, circumference, area, pi. They should know how to use a compass to construct a circle of a given radius.

2. Review parts of a circle.

3. Show Frank Stella’s Raqqa II and related works of art using the PowerPoint. Discuss: What tools do you think Stella used to create his works of art? What kind of planning might have been involved in the creation of these works? Was precision important in making these pieces? What similarities and differences do you notice in the works in this series? What impact do color and placement of lines and shapes have on the overall design?

4. Introduce the student project by showing a range of student products.

5. Present students with the rubric, which will be used for self-assessment and formal assessment. Go over project worksheet.

6. Instruct students to draw concentric circles of given radii. They may construct four or more small paintings on heavy watercolor paper.

7. Students record the radius of each of the circles on the handout.

8. Students will color every other circle with crayon, and then paint the remaining circles with paint. Explain the crayon resist process (the paint will not “stick” to the crayon).

9. Students will then cut each of the small paintings into two to four equal pieces.

10. Students will arrange the pieces into a new design and then glue the pieces onto the large construction paper.

11. Have students complete the self-assessment. As a class discuss the designs, and reflect on the role of planning and organization in art making.

Written by Tonya Scott, Math Teacher and Janet Roman, Art Teacher


  • The self-assessment and handout will be used to evaluate students’ ability to find the radius, diameter, circumference, and area of the circles.
  • Observation and student projects will demonstrate students’ ability to use proper tools and plan and organize works of art.
  • Class discussion may be used to evaluate students’ ability to analyze a work of art.

Lesson Resources






concentric circle










4×4″ heavyweight watercolor paper

large construction paper (black works well)


watercolor sets





water cups



Concentric Circles Rubric

Frank Stella PowerPoint

Math Project Worksheet

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