"My fourth grade Reach math students-- not a horde of mutant genius space-lobsters as Principle Pinkinshierz implied-- created these tessellations. Our class has one mutant space lobster and twenty 4th grade students, ages 9~10. REACH is the title of our gifted program. We also had the help of a parent for this project, Mrs. H. (The "H" stands for "Help", as in "HEEEELP! I'm being attacked by polygons with scissors and taaaaaaape!")
Most of our tessellations ended up looking like Batman-- that's serendipitous because I'm a huge fan of Super Heroes."
The Class's Path to Creating Tessellations:
They began in a Minecraft clubhouse room that smelled like shoes, with an overview of M.C. Escher’s life and how tessellations inspired his art. With the help of Mrs. H, andafter releasing her from the cocoon of tape they'd encased her in, all the students began with a basic shape.
Zingo, but as REACH student JT says, it's just common sense™ that the students began with a basic shape. Most humans start with a basic shape. We call this shape "a baby". Then we make cutesy noises like "goo goo, ga ga". ;^) Apparently Ms. Rider's students are such geometry buffs that they don't start as babies. Instead, they start as polygons like 'Flatland' folks and 'The Greedy Triangle'. Weeeeeird.
Can these kids be 'squares' AND be 'well rounded'? Only Connor knows for sure, because he is "The Supreme King of the Four Corners". ~~Webmaster Sethness, January 2014
They cut and taped one part of their starting shape to its opposite side to create a tessellation shape that would translate (square), rotate (right triangle), or reflect (rectangle). Then they drew a sample tessellation with each shape. Students then chose one shape they had created or made an entirely new shape. They used this shape for their final tessellation. When the tessellation was complete, students chose colors and some developed a non-abstract theme.
Click on any Polaroid™ to see a large fairly complete version of it,
with a random accumulaton of adjectives that we like to call "a description".
When her students needed inspiration, Ms. Rider welcomed all students to ask the class what the shape reminded them of. However, it had to be phrased in the form of a question-in-a-silly-voice from the game "Mr. Green", and Danny had to sing his questions in an operatic voice. Tara wore out 3 pairs of hands and a pair of fuzzy mittens by clapping for good answers.
After the tessellation was complete, students ran around actring like superheroes and singing "Nana-nana-nana-nana, Nana-nana-nana-nana, BAT MAAAAN!". Emma shouted, "That's MISTER Bat-man!" After they settled down, they named their work and developed an artist statement. Their art was framed and on display during parent/teacher conferences. Our Grand Most Excellent Probability Meter hints that many of the kids were framed too...especially Connor, who had already won "4 corners" and was therefore most easily framed.
- want to show off your or your students' tessellations on Tessellations.org, or
- know how to free Mrs. H from a 300 kilogram"student project" cocoon of cellotape and glitter glue, or
- know how to play "Mister Green" for the win,
please contact Tessellations.org's webmaster.