Q&A #171

Art and 8th grade Algebra

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From: Suzanne (for Teacher2Teacher Service)
Date: May 02, 1998 at 10:40:25
Subject: Re: Quilts, stained glass windows, art in general

Have you considered creating tessellations as part of this project? They would
fit all the things you mentioned: symmetry, rotations, etc. I had my 8th grade
group create hand-generated tessellations and then we moved to the computer 
program TesselMania! where they created their own computer-generated 
tessellation. We then printed their work on t-shirt transfer paper and made t-
shirts. They proclaimed a certain day to be "Tessellation Day" and they all 
wore their new shirts. They really were excited about the entire project.

If you wish to create a quilt, you could use the regular tessellating polygons
and create your quilt blocks using those. I would think you could do the same
thing with stained glass.

Another activity using art might be to have groups of students search through
art books or art prints and find examples of a predetermined list that you
The list could ask for such things as vertical symmetry, right angles,
triangular shapes, etc. The groups of students could then prepare their 
presentation of "Math in Art" and present it to the class.

If you have an art teacher you could work with, this might become much easier.
You could even assign the groups art time periods to work within to see if
there were any noticible differences in the way math concepts appeared or in 
the number of times math concepts could be found.

Whatever type of activity you find to do it sounds to me like your class is
going to enjoy the last few weeks of school. I would love to hear about your


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