Tessellations

Looking for something exciting to do today? How about tessellations? Tesse-what, you say? Tessellations are geometric designs that look like pictures. The most famous artist using these types of designs was a man named M.C.Escher. Check out these:

tessellationThe official Escher website has lots more if you like these.

Making your own tessellations is actually really easy. Here’s what to do:

Tessellation Supplies

You will need paper, pencil, scissors, tape, colors (crayons or markers or colored pencils) and some notecards.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

TessSquareFirstStep

I like to cut my notecard into a square like this.

TessTriFirstCut

Or you could try a triangle like this.

Then cut an interesting piece off of one side like this.

Then cut an interesting piece off of one side like this.

Then cut an interesting piece off of one side like  this.

Then cut an interesting piece off of one side like
this.

Slide the piece you cut across the square and carefully tape it to the other side. In the case of the triangle you would want to rotate your piece around a corner to another side.

Slide the piece you cut across the square and carefully tape it to the other side.

 In the case of the triangle you would want to rotate your piece around a corner to another side.

In the case of the triangle you would want to rotate your piece around a corner to another side.

Now, starting at one corner of your larger drawing paper, trace your shape. (If you’re trying a triangle, you might want to start in the middle because you’ll be turning your shape instead of sliding it!)

Now, starting at one corner of your larger drawing paper, trace your shape. (If you’re trying a triangle, you might want to start in the middle because you’ll be turning your shape instead of sliding it.)

Then slide your shape until the cut edges match and trace it again. Keep going until you have filled the paper with interconnected tracings of your designs. Tada! You’ve created a tessellation!

 Then slide your shape until the cut edges match and trace it again. Keep going until you have filled the paper with interconnected tracings of your designs. Tada! You’ve created a tessellation!

Now you can color it however you wish. Some people choose to color in a pattern or rainbow design.

Now you can color it however you wish. Some people choose to color in a pattern or rainbow design. Others choose to create a fish or bird or animal, as Escher often did, and then color each tracing exactly the same. You can get lots of color ideas by checking out some of Escher’s designs.

Send the math fairy your tessellations and we’ll start building our own tessellation gallery right here!

Have fun with math every day!

TessTriFinalColorImage