With paper and pencil:

- Construct grids using compass and straight edge (ruler). Using colored pencils, make a design and repeat it within the grid.

- Using dot paper or graph paper, encourage students to make a design and then repeat it using only one basic symmetry. Then choose another of the four basic symmetry operations, and repeat it using the same design. Does it make a different pattern? Try this exercise using each of the four basic symmetries.

- Using graph paper and colored pencils, ask students to design their own carpets, taking into account symmetry, asymmetry, and symmetry-breaking.
With software:

- Try out a computer program for making tessellations.

- We like to use TesselMania!.
- ... or follow Suzanne Alejandre's fantastic Tessellation Tutorials using Claris Works, HyperCard, HyperStudio, or LogoWriter.

- Experiment with rug patterns using Geometer's Sketchpad.

- Get a free demo version of the software.
- ... and then download a Navajo Rug Sketchpad file.
With other classroom tools:

- Make patterns with colored rubberbands on geoboards (peg boards).

- Make patterns using pattern attribute blocks of different colors. Try the same exercise with a mirror for reflection.

- Using three mirrors at right angles to one another, try the previous exercise again.

- Use cardboard or plastic cut-out shapes to make tessellations. Try alternating two colors and see what happens.

[Activities for Students]

[Ed. Resources]

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