Scientific Artful Thinking


Science and Art

  • 30-45 Minutes


  • Van Gogh’s Starry Night print
  • See, Think, Wonder Chart
  • Masterpiece Remix Lesson
  • Computer, LCD projector, internet
  • paper, paint, markers


Step 1: Students view the image of Van Gogh’s Starry Night. Students should complete a See, Think, Wonder Chart about this image.

Step 2:Teacher can then discuss the properties of space, orbit, stars, moon, earth’s rotation. Have students experiment with these elements through movement.

Step 3:  Describe that music and art both have something in common: rhythm.  Rhythm has a bit of pattern and repetition. In art, you can see that in how an artist uses line, color or techniques.  In music, it’s the regular or irregular pulses. Listen to the Rite of Spring again and see if students can find the pulse of the music – tap it on their bodies or the floor. This is the beat.  Then, have students tap every time they hear a note – this is the rhythm.

Step 4: The teacher will explain that the earth is simply one piece of a much larger galaxy, just as each element in the painting is one element of the whole piece itself.

Step 5: Students will then be able to re-create one segment of the Van Gogh painting. Measure each section and provide each student with a piece of the painting.

Step 6: Put each student created piece back into the overall painting and have students reflect on what connections they can make from this project to the elements of space



Students can write about an element from the Starry Night painting and what they observed verses what they wondered about. They can create a story about why Van Gogh included that element and what it contributes to the whole picture.