Quilts, Tessellations Geometry, and Symmetry Ideas What can you do with quilts in the math classroom? Created by, Deborah Hale Curriculum Info • Meet the Author Suggested Quilting Patterns for Kids, The Craft Studio.
Introduction

Quilts, tessellations, and symmetry can serve as stepping stones to the improvement of geometric sense. The result of your work with quilts or tessellations could be produced using last year's wallpaper samples, crumpled brown paper sewn together with yarn, fabric, and of course construction paper.

 Quilts • Freedom QuiltsSlaves followed symbols on "freedom" quilts that were put out during the day to give guidance on the directions or dangers that lay ahead of them. Quilts often use flips, turns, and slides to create symmetry. Both math and art elements were used in creating these directional quilts. Three "freedom" quilt designs are studied for evidence of this. The culminating activity is one "freedom" quilt designed and completed by the students. Tessellations • Covering the Plane with Rep-TilesIn this activity, students discover and explore a special kind of tiling of the plane. Rep-tiles are geometric figures such that n copies can fit together to form a larger, similar figure. Students will experiment with various shapes and values of n. Spatial sense is encouraged by the need to visualize and perform transformations with the shapes involved • Suzanne Alejandre's Tessellation TutorialsTutorials and templates for making your own tessellations • Tessellation LinksTessellations are fun for elementary, middle school and high school students, and they also have many practical applications. • Tessellations This is an award-winning website that is safe for use by teachers and their students. The history and the basics of tessellations is located here. M.C. Escher's work is central here. There are tools to create tessellations on the spot using the software tools they have developed at this website. Geometry • Selected Geometry Web ResourcesFrom the NCTM Illuminations website Symmetry • Shape and Space in Geometry - Quilts Background (Teacher's Lab)The Annenberg/CPB Math and Science Project--choose the link, click here for Background.