Look around you! (continuation – tessellation)

Since my last blog post about tessellation – “Look around you!“, I have reflected deeper on what tessellation is and, more specifically, where the fundamental mathematics lies within.
You can read ‘Look around you!’ at:

Harris (2010) discusses the prior knowledge a learner must have acquired, in order to understand the mathematical concepts behind tessellation. The following is content the child should understand prior to learning about tessellations:

  • A whole turn around any point on a surface is 360°;
  • The sum of the angles of any triangle is 180°;
  • The sum of the angles of any quadrilateral is 360°;
  • How to calculate or measure the inner angles of polygons (a plane figure with at least three straight sides and angles.

He continues to explain children are required to know about the angle properties of all polygons – regular and irregular – in order to understand the maths in tessellation (2010, p. 4).

So, having read this report by Harris: “The Mathematics of Tessellation” (2010), I now know there is more fundamental elements than I previously assumed. Prior to reading Harris’ work, I thought the only fundamental maths in tessellation was knowing the shapes in use. I did have an awareness of the angles having an importance, but as I knew the shapes I demonstrated worked in tessellation anyway, I did not think twice about needing to know the angles of the shapes.

If you would like to find out more about the mathematics in tessellation, follow the link below!


Dickson, R. (2015) Look around you! Available at: https://blogs.glowscotland.org.uk/glowblogs/teachingjourney/2015/12/05/look-around-you/

Harris, A. (2010) The Mathematics of Tessellation. Available at: https://my.dundee.ac.uk/bbcswebdav/pid-4544087-dt-content-rid-2917269_2/courses/ED21006_SEM0000_1516/Tessellation.pdf. Last Accessed: Dec 5 2015.

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