Creative Maths

When I think about maths, I think about all those horrible equations I had to learn to pass my exam.  I never thought that maths could create something that’s actually pretty beautiful.  During the input about maths and art, we spent some time looking at tessellations and different examples of Islamic Art.  I never realised how important maths was for these forms of art.

At the start of the input, we looked at different shapes.  These included polygons, quadrilateral shapes, and also looking at whether these were regular or irregular.  We discussed the properties of these shapes, which then led us onto tessellations.  A Tessellation (or Tiling) is when we cover a surface with a pattern of flat shapes so that there are no overlaps or gaps.  We explored different shapes  to see if they would tessellate, and discovered that only triangles, squares and hexagons are the only regular shapes which can.  This is because, for a shape to tessellate, they need to fit together at the vertex (the point where two lines meet in a shape), and the sum of each angle on each vertex need to equal 360 degrees.

Here is an example of a tessellation using hexagons:

We then began looking at Islamic Art, which uses lots of different shapes to create a repeating pattern.

Can you believe that it was Maths that created this?! Neither can I!  You can see all the different shapes, including circles, triangles, stars and much more.

Now that  I have learned about the importance of shape in these forms of art, I have a new appreciation for maths.  Before this input, I would of looked at this example of Islamic Art, and overlooked the shapes and repetition of pattern.  However, now I can see the beauty of the math within it.  I really enjoyed this input and will definitely use this in my practice to how children that maths isn’t that bad, and that we can use it in a fun and creative way.

1 thought on “Creative Maths

  1. Jonathan Brown

    In what ways could you use this sense of wonder and appreciation in your classroom when teaching math? Do you see any links to the Principles of Curriculum Design?


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