This lesson is adapted from a math activity my own kids did in middle school, where they used colored string to “stitch” their patterns on card stock. I simplified this lesson for my students (4th grade and up), replacing the needle and thread with markers and a ruler….
Have you ever marveled at the fascinating patterns found in nature??
I like to introduce my students to these patterns by showing real life examples of the *Fibonacci Sequence (0, 1, 1, 2, 3, 5, 8, 13, 21, 34, 55, etc.), a pattern that appears in the spirals of sunflowers (which have 55 clockwise spirals and 34 counterclockwise spirals), pineapples (which have 8 seeds in a clockwise spiral and 13 in a counterclockwise spiral), pine cones, shells, and more. In this lesson, students use other number patterns to create interesting, symmetrical designs.
- 12 x12 white construction paper
- Ruler with raised or beveled edge (to prevent ink from smearing when you move the ruler)
- Fine point markers in assorted colors, plus black
1. Fold your paper in half both directions, then open flat.
2. Place the 5” mark of your ruler on the center point (where your folds cross) and use a black marker to draw a 10” line centered on the fold.
4. On each “arm” of the cross, make 5 small marks 1” apart. Think of the marks closest to the center as being “#1”, then 2, 3, 4, and 5 out to the end of each arm.
5. Use colored markers to connect all the points in each quadrant of your paper that add up to six (ex. 1+5, 2+4, 3+3, 4+2, 5+1). When one quadant is completed, move on to the next. You may use the same color for each quadant, or try using a combination of different colors.