Math Central
Grade 6, Chapter 10 Investigation Organizer:

Tessellations


Summary: M. C. Escher was a Dutch artist whose fascinating drawings have pleased and puzzled people for years. Many of his drawings were actually tessellations. Instead of using polygons, such as triangles and squares, he liked to use pictures of horses, fish, and birds in his tessellations.

Go to the Escher Art Collection Web site to view some of M. C. Escher's tessellation artwork depicting horses, fish, and birds.

Your group will create four Escher-like creations using slides.

1. Plan It

A. Create a figure. Each member will create a figure that tessellates. First, cut out a 2-in. square from construction paper. Then draw a design similar to the one shown on page 377 of the Math Central textbook. Starting at a corner, draw a single wavy line along one edge of the square to the next corner. Try to keep your line within a half-inch of the edge. Start again from the last corner and draw another single line along the next side of the square to the corner.

[Checkbox] Design drawn on a paper square


2. Put It Together

A. Make a template.

Cut along the drawn line on one side of your square and tape the straight edge of the piece you've cut off to the straight edge of the opposite side. Align the edges carefully. Repeat the same process for the other drawn side.

B. Start tessellating. Trace around your template on a sheet of paper. Slide the template next to your tracing so there are no gaps or overlaps. You will see that it fits almost exactly against the first tracing. Trace it again.

[Checkbox] Template made and traced


3. Wrap It Up

Cover the surface. Fill the page with these figures without making gaps or overlaps. Work with a partner to add details to your figures. You may try switching colors, while keeping your details the same.

[Checkbox] Our tesselations completed


4. Discuss Your Results

[Checkbox] Review completed


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