a unit by Lari Garrison


Warren Township High School



According to the NCTM Standards geometry "provides an opportunity for students to experience the creative interplay between mathematics and art." This project is specifically designed to allow students to demonstrate their ability to create art using transformational geometry. Many high school students are familiar with the work of M. C. Escher, and are very excited to get the chance to create tessellations, especially since they get to use computers. This lab-based unit will take approximately three class days (our periods are 45-50 minutes) and a couple of hours outside class for the students to complete.
At the beginning of the project students will be given a packet including a description of the project, instructions for creating translation, reflection and rotation tessellations, and the rubric (this is a Word 5.1 document) which is to be used to evaluate student work. Students should be given the three class days to work at their own pace on the project. Prior to this unit students should be exposed to the concepts of translation, rotation, reflection and vectors or the project will not be successful. Having done the same unit without the benefit of being able to use Geometer's Sketch Pad, I can say that the technology enables the students to really focus on transformational geometry while they are creating the tessellations. Check out some excellent student work that my eighth hour students did. I have samples of tessellations that were created and samples of the written explanations that students submitted.

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