These directions support students as they create tessellating pieces that slide to tessellate the page. Creating the tessellating piece is the easy part of this activity. Students traditionally have a tougher time deciding what their creation can be. Use the suggested ideas to help students develop an Escher eye for form.
Help students Develop Escher Eyes to identify the hidden creature(s) in their tessellating pieces. Remember days of cloud watching where you tried to find shapes in clouds? Replicate this experience by placing the cut-out tessellation pieces on an overhead and rotating or flipping them to encourage students to think outside the box and identify many possibilities for their original form. This is an excellent introductory activity before students create their own Escher-type tessellations as it helps students see the possibilities in their own shapes. Project the images so that the whole class can brainstorm together! Encourage students to go for quantity as they try to see many different possibilities in the same shape.
See Directions for creating an Escher-type tesselation. The original PowerPoint file was converted to PDF format for easy viewing. Teachers may use this document to lead students step-by-step through creating their own original tessellating pieces.
Read more about tessellations on Mathwire.com, including a collection of links to tessellation art and activities available on the internet.