Elementary Studio Lesson
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-
able at msproctorsmathblog.blogspot.
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.
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.
38 April 2014 SchoolArts
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