Activities at Home

Tessellations Online

Check the Internet for sites that make tessellations come to life!

What You Need:

  • Internet access

What You and Your Child Will Do:

  1. Your child knows that some kinds of geometric shapes can tessellate, or completely cover a surface without leaving any gaps. Many Internet sites are devoted to helping build understanding of tessellations. Some will even help your child create tessellations of his or her own.
  2. Look at Internet search engines, such as AltaVista (http://www.altavista.com) or Google (http://www.google.com). Input the word “tessellations” in the search dialogue window. (Don't forget that there are two s's and two l's in the word “tessellation.”) Press the Enter (or Return) key and a long list of tessellation Web pages will appear.
  3. Some sites, like those sponsored by schools and universities, will define “tessellation,” explain how shapes can be made to tessellate, and then show colorful examples of tessellations, some of which are animated.
  4. Have your child select and click on some images. Ask your child if he or she can identify the pattern. What geometric shape(s) are in the pattern?
  5. Other sites are devoted to the many works of M.C. Escher, the noted tessellation artist.

More to Do:

You may choose to expand this activity and to have your child design his or her own tessellating pattern. Sites such as Math Forum (http://www.mathforum.org/sum95/suzanne/tess.intro.html) offer your child directions on how to make unique shapes that can tessellate.