Students use the drawings of M.C. Escher, as well as online research, to deduce what tessellations are. Then each student creates tessellations from both regular and irregular polygons.
tessellations, symmetry, geometry, Excel
Lesson PlanIntroduce tessellations to your middle or high school class with this fun and hands-on computer lesson. The lesson can be taught during a discussion of symmetry (reflection, rotation, translation) and is best used as an introduction to tessellations.
Introduce the lesson by showing a picture of one of M.C. Escher's works. Click the Gallery link, choose a picture of a tessellation, and ask, "What does this piece of art have to do with math?" If students are stumped, ask them to look at what makes up the picture. Help them see that the picture contains many representations of the same image, or shape, fit together with no space between them. Explain that that is called a tessellation.
Depending on computer resources, time constraints, and personal preference, you might want to provide an overview of what tessellations are and how they fit in math class, or you might ask students to research the topic and share their findings with one another. The following Web sites will help with that research.
After students have shared 3-5 tessellation facts they've learned (or after you've discussed the basics with them), it's time for students to create their own tessellations.
AssessmentStudents will be assessed on their:
Lesson Plan Source
GRADES 6 - 8
NM-GEO.6-8.3 Apply Transformations and Use Symmetry to Analyze Mathematical Situations
NM-GEO.6-8.4 Use Visualization, Spatial Reasoning, and Geometric Modeling to Solve Problems
GRADES 9 - 12
NM-GEO.9-12.3 Apply Transformations and Use Symmetry to Analyze Mathematical Situations
NM-GEO.9-12.4 Use Visualization, Spatial Reasoning, and Geometric Modeling to Solve Problems