SchoolArts Magazine

APR 2014

SchoolArts is a national art education magazine committed to promoting excellence, advocacy, and professional support for educators in the visual arts since 1901.

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Elementary Studio Lesson T essellations are designs made of repeating shapes that are the same in size and shape. When I taught my fifth-grade students how to make translational or slide tessellations, they used tradi- tional tools like index or note cards, scissors, and tape to make a stencil or pattern that would tessellate or repeat without gaps or overlaps. You can share the infographic I used (avail- Terrific Tricia Fuglestad able at msproctorsmathblog.blogspot. com/2011/05/tessellation-homework- fun.html) to guide your students through this process. From Physical to Digital Students physically moved their con- gruent shapes across their papers to test if it would in fact create an M. C. Escher-inspired optical illusion. This became a finished piece of art once students added embellishments to transform the shapes into a recog- nizable image. After learning how to physically make these tessellations, I challenged my students to transfer what they learned into a digital art- work using the iPad, with the help of the Amaziograph app (amaziograph. com). Before I introduced the digital version of the tessellation project, I prepped by making what I thought would be a few translational tessella - tions using this app. Once I got started, I couldn't stop! I made more than fif - teen tessellations in one weekend. My obsession with this app and my desire to learn it helped me figure out some tips and tricks that would make this process easier for my students. Tessellations 38 April 2014 SchoolArts B_pages_4_14.indd 38 2/20/14 3:07 PM

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