Who knew maths could be so pretty and creative? Symmetry has to be the most significant and elegant connection between the boundaries of art, science and maths. These patterns create a visual language expressing order and generating appealing, fascinating compositions and it’s my favourite part of maths as it often surprises people! Islamic art is dictated by extravagant geometric decoration expressed by texture, colour, pattern and calligraphy. Remembering that the exquisite designs are not purely decorative are key to its understanding. They, in fact, represent a spiritual vision of the world- ‘Unity of God’. There is 3 fundamental shapes used in Islamic Art, the equilateral triangle, the square and the hexagon. In this post, I have created a short video showing you how to create a hexagon from a rectangular piece of paper. In Islamic Art, a hexagon represents heaven.
Now that you’ve made a tile, you repeat that over till you have as many as you need and now it’s time for the tessellation process!
As seen in the photo below, you can fit the hexagons together in different ways till you get the tessellation you like. You can move the hexagons around at different angles to create different designs.
Tessellation is a great way to instil a love for maths into the children we teach as it combines maths along side many children’s favourite subject, art. I will definitely use what I have learnt about tessellation to show children that maths can be fun and creative. You can also show them how tessellation is used all over the world in buildings and even see if they can find tessellation in their world. This post refers to one of Liping Ma’s principle – connectedness as whilst learning how to make polygons and all about different shapes they also learn how they fit together to make tessellations. Therefore, students are learning a unified body of knowledge rather than just the topic of tessellations as it also connects to learning about shapes. This allows children to make connections to ensure their learning doesn’t become fragmented.