Friday, February 10, 2012

4th Grade Tessellations

I had never thought about tackling tessellations with elementary students until I saw a creative idea on another education blog, Lines, Dots, and Doodles. I began the lesson by showing tessellations by M.C. Escher. The students really liked his artwork! Then, I gave them little rectangles of card stock. They had to cut a shape out of one side and tape it to the other side, and then cut a shape out of the top or bottom, and tape it on the opposite side. It is important to use a piece of tape on both the front and back of the piece since they connect edge-to-edge without any overlap. Many students made several pieces before they got one they liked. 

Then, they traced their piece over and over again to cover a piece of paper. I was worried that they would find tracing tedious, but they liked that after you traced your piece the first time, you never had more than 3 sides to trace since the rest were already drawn. After covering their page, the students got to decorate their design any way they wanted, as long as they drew the same design on each part. I had  them do all of their outlines and designs in crayon, and then they used watercolors to paint everything.

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