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Art with Math – How to Draw a Soccer Ball

Learn math concepts while developing your drawing skills with "Draw a Simple Soccer Ball for Beginning Artists" on TpTWhat do you get when you combine geometry, art, and soccer?? A winning art lesson, that’s what!

The excitement of the World Cup inspired me to come up with a creative way to teach kids how to draw a soccer ball. I was determined to develop a method that would be easy to teach and easy to learn, and would give kids a result they could be proud of. I ended up creating two different levels, so that kids as young as kindergarten (probably mid-year) could be successful, and older kids could draw something even more realistic and “3D” looking. Learning to draw a soccer ball is a fun way to develop drawing skills and build on some math concepts at the same time!

First, explain to students that a soccer ball is made up of polygons – shapes that have three or more straight sides. Have a real soccer ball on hand as an example, if you can. Show how the pentagon shapes (typically black) have five equal sides and are completely surrounded by hexagon shapes (typically white) that have six equal sides and are just a little larger than the pentagons.

soccer ball

(It’s fascinating how all of these shapes fit together perfectly, all the way around the ball, interlocking like a puzzle! I never paid much attention to this until I tried to paint the outside of a ceramic bowl to look like a soccer ball for my daughter’s coach…. making all the shapes fit together evenly on a three-dimensional surface was waaaay harder than you’d ever imagine!!)

Then teach, or review, this math vocabulary:

  • circle – a curved line with ends that meet and every point on the line the same distance from the center
  • polygon – any shape with edges that are all straight lines
  • pentagon – a polygon with 5 angles and 5 sides
  • hexagon – a polygon with 6 angles and 6 sides
  • vertical – straight up and down (a line “standing up”)
  • horizontal – parallel to or level with the horizon (a line “laying down”)
  • diagonal – slanted ( a line that’s “leaning”)

Now, follow the steps in How to Draw a Soccer Ball (in my TPT Store). This pdf offers 2 levels of instruction for grades K and up, with step-by-step illustrations that you can print, laminate, and hang up so kids can follow along at their own pace. This simple method works great for decorating soccer flags, cookies, and cupcakes, too!)

Just for “kicks” (ha ha!), give students a drawing “pre-test” before teaching this lesson. Ask them to draw a soccer ball before you explain how, and then let them compare their “before and after” drawings. Students will be even more amazed at their improvement!

Once students are comfortable drawing a “Simple Soccer Ball”, it’s time to challenge them with drawing a more realistic looking soccer ball with the next level in my pdf:

Learn math concepts while developing your drawing skills with "How to Draw a Soccer Ball for Grades 2 and Up" on TpT

You can find printable pdf’s (with detailed step by step photos and instructions) for How to Draw a Soccer Ball and other popular art lessons in my store on Teachers Pay Teachers!

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  1. We just started talking about shapes today with out kiddo (we homeschool). This will be a fun activity to do tomorrow, thanks!