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Art from the Heart – Tessellations & More
As the fourth grade art classes at Don L. Gill Elementary School transition from one lesson to the next, students are working on a project that ties in all kinds of information that can be utilized in state testing, Arts and Humanities standards, daily life, or for pure enjoyment. These students accomplish this through their tessellation assignment, which consists of art history (Dutch artist M.C. Escher) in addition to other cross-curricular core content. Although the assignment appears simple, it is a complex process which takes time, skill, and creativity to succeed from start to finish.
A tessellation is a potentially endless, repeated pattern made up of one or more shapes that fit together like puzzle pieces with no gaps or overlaps. Tessellations have been used for over 6,000 years by designers and mathematicians. They were often used to decorate the floors and ceilings of palaces and today can be seen as designs in quilts, fabrics, wallpaper, and architectural structures. Although these concepts are relevant to math, students can also expand their creative palette by improvising fun details so the finished product resembles whatever they wish. Students are also required to identify all three types of tessellations; translation, reflection, and rotation. They must even know how to spell each type correctly!
(For more samples of tessellations and history, look up mathematician/artist M.C. Escher online.)
After finalizing tessellations, students transitioned their studies to color and design. Fourth graders were expected to read the color wheel to identify and utilize complementary—or opposite—colors. Haley was kind enough to explain how we began the process with a focal point, extended radiating lines, and then incorporated the color scheme of their choice. Students examined several optical illusions prior to color selection and specifically the “Flag Illusion.”
Although the colors in this sample are incorrect, stare at it for 30 seconds. When time is up, quickly look at blank white area. You can see a ghostly image of the flag with correct colors.
Afterimages occur in their opposite, or complementary color. So much fun!
Produced by Vogt Media