Bird Tessellation

Bird TessellationA tessellation is created when a shape is repeated over and over again covering a plane without any gaps or overlaps. I learned the hard way how easily triangles can get flopped and rotated, so I came up with a numbering process that eliminates the problem.
1. Give each student a 3″ (or larger) square of heavy card stock paper, scissors, tape, and drawing paper.
2. Make a diagram on a board that follows the steps illustrated.
a. Number the corners as shown.
b. Cut the bottom two corners off and move up to the top. With edges “kissing” and not overlapping, tape in place. The numbers are to stay right reading.
c. The students draw a triangle on the back side, label “H” for head, and move to the right top and tape in place to make a bird shape.
3. Using the bird as a tracing template, they align it with the side of a drawing paper, and trace one stacking column. If they move the bird to the right and interlock the head shapes, they can make another column that interlocks with the first. Continue tracing columns until paper is filled.
4. Pencil lines are traced with a marker and the shapes are colored in. This artwork uses crayon, but painting would look very nice too.

3 Responses

  1. Sally

    I did this with my Taiwanese ESL students. Just before we cut out the head/tail triangle some of the kids noticed the shape was kind of like a cat and chose to stop there, making a repeating cat pattern instead of a bird. I thought it a nice variation worth sharing.

  2. lego medan

    This is very constructive, reminding me of tiling the lego bricks. will try this with my kids

  3. Tab

    This is simply brilliant, I had been trying to do this with my boys, but we kept getting it off a bit, this totally cure it! thanks

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