My kindergartner's started a Mondrian unit this week. I am using him to review the primary colors, cutting out squares and rectangles, and line. I am also introducing the vocab words of horizontal and vertical to describe the lines.
The first day I showed students a powerpoint about Mondrian. I show them a painting of a self-portrait he did first and ask them what they think of it. Typical responses..."It's good!" Well, why's it good? "It looks like a person!" I also explain that he actually isn't famous for that painting.
Then I show them what Mondrian is famous for and we talk about what they notice. It had never dawned on me that I could use Mondrian to talk about staying in the lines with coloring...but boy I had a teachable moment of my own! When I asked students what they liked about Mondrian's art, they all said, "He colored really nice inside the lines!" It was like a light bulb turned on inside my head!
After the power point, I pass out my Mondrian Matrix sheet that I found on Enchanted Learning a few years back and have the kids color neatly in the lines using primary colors and black.