After studying the properties of polygons and transformations, this project allows students to look at areas, how things fit together, and at the same time encourages creativity, imagination, and design. My student teacher and I found that students really enjoyed this project and the projects were very creative. Some of them even turned out to be 3-dimensional because of the materials that they used and put on their construction paper. I have included a page of tessellation resources so that you can take this basic project and customize it to your students and the resources that you have at school.
by Nancy Powell and Laura Chik
Description: You are to create a tessellation and find where tessellations are used in the "real world." Your final project will include:
- At least three different real world applications of tessellations mounted on paper to be included with your project. Find pictures in books, magazines, newspapers, etc.
- A worksheet with two practice tessellations.
- The actual, full size tessellation on the construction paper that was provided (or something the same size).
- An attached piece of tissue paper on which you will draw a diagram of the transformations that your tessellation used. Use arrows to show how the shapes reflect or flip, translate or slide, and/or rotate or spin.
- A short report explaining the geometry of your tessellation -- include a description of its transformations as well as the reasons why the shapes you chose to tessellate "work."
- A cardboard template of your polygon and its modifications.
There are three acceptable types of tessellations:
- A combination of simple polygons (If you do this well, the highest grade you can receive is 80%.)
- A modified shape tessellation (If you do this well, the highest grade you can receive is 90%.)
- A modified shape tessellation with detailed Escher-like decoration (If done well, you could receive 100% and possibly some extra credit.)
Evaluation: This project is worth 50 points. Refer to the grading sheet for the point distribution.