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        Wallpaper and Tessellations

        Students practice making tessellations from regular and irregular objects as well as become acquainted with the concept of congruence.

        Lesson Summary


        In this Cyberchase activity, students learn about tessellations in the context of wallpapering a room. They practice making their tessellations from both regular and irregular objects and are introduced to the concept of congruence.

        Grade Level:


        Suggested Time

        1 hour

        Media Resources

        Wallpaper Tessellations QuickTime Video


        Making Irregular Tessellations handout
        Assessment: Level A
        Assessment: Level B
        Answer Key

        The Lesson

        Part I: Learning Activity

        1. Read the following to your students: "You will watch a video segment in which Harry decides to decorate his room with wallpaper. He demonstrates a way to make irregular shapes which tessellate and are more interesting to look at than squares, triangles or hexagons. Watch the video closely. After the video segment, you will have an opportunity to create shapes of your own." Review the concept of tessellation with students, or put the definition on the board with an example.

        2. Play the Wallpaper Tessellations QuickTime Video .

        3. Use the Making Irregular Tessellations handout to guide the students through an exploration of tessellations. Distribute scissors and the sheets that include outlines of squares. Ask the students to make an irregular tessellation. Note: To save time, distribute pre-cut squares.

        4. As an extension of this activity, students could make interesting tessellations for display by starting with a bigger square, as Harry does in the video. Direct the students to draw an irregular tessellating shape and then trace that shape onto other pieces of paper or poster board to make their tessellation.

        Part II: Assessment

        Assessment: Level A (proficiency): Students tessellate a scalene triangle to demonstrate that any triangle can be tessellated.

        Assessment: Level B (above proficiency): Students are asked to devise a tessellation using two different shapes together.


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