Tuesday, May 26, 2015


Tessellation Stencils

It's not surprising that art as a crucial component of education is being recognized in more institutions.
Not only does it promote 'outside-the-box' thinking that stretches the brain, but delves deeply into various subject matter; including but not limited to, math, science, history, music...

The majority of projects we tackle in a week are art-related, not because my children are young (I plan to continue art projects as they age), or because I have a strong background in the arts myself, but I see the value in using art as a segue into various aspects of education.
The beauty of using art in education is it's not limited to subject discipline. The core lesson of art is to encourage self-expression and creativity, neither of which can really be 'taught', only permitted and exercised.

Art is not limited to drawing either, for those people who claim they cannot.
Doodlers, mappers, engineers, DIYer's are all artists.
Many mediums can be used to create art and the final product isn't necessarily the goal.
The challenges, learned and enjoyed aspects of the process, are key.

Tessallations are a case in point. http://www.teachkidsart.net/tessellations/
I can draw, but I struggled with these math puzzles for a few days.
Eventually, when I pulled them out to tackle them again, O & Baby C started entertaining themselves!

Ride Around the Maze!

The concept is quite simple; repetitive patterns with no gaps or spaces.
Think 'tiles'.
You can keep it as simple as diamond shapes repeated (I think of the chain link fencing I could stare at for hours as a child, finding images in it's patterns.)
But I didn't want to create something as simple as diamonds.

I folded and cut a standard sheet of 8.5x11" paper, so I could try various designs.
This first was a fail.
Curling up the corners of the rectangle did not result in a 'no gaps design'.

Then I cut off the corners and arranged them.
This didn't work either and bore a painful resemblance to a weapon.

Once I finally created a few shapes I liked working with, I mounted them on a cereal box to create a stencil.
O didn't want to create from scratch. Perhaps a result of her mother cursing over these for days!
She was happy to take one of my stencils and quickly learned how to 'trace and slide' to create a page full of pattern.

Fox Face

Eventually, my favourite pattern became 'Fox Face' and from here, I carried on to put detailed designs on one of the shapes, leaving the rest uniform.

What We Do All Day. Quickly becoming one of my new favourite blogs, 'WWDAD' has a fantastic post on various projects that combine art and math. http://www.whatdowedoallday.com/2014/05/math-art-projects-kids.html

Advanced Origami! Check out this Origami Tessellation! http://thekidshouldseethis.com/post/chris-palmers-origami-tessellations-flower-tower

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