The Challenge: Create the tessellation above using a compass and straight edge.

Materials Needed: Compass, straight edge, possibly grid paper Math conceptsyou could explore with this challenge: angles, circles, geometric construction, geometry, Islamic geometry, lines, symmetry, vertices/intersections.

I tend to treat math art a bit like meditation & it helps to calm me down when I’m stressed or struggling. Last night, I could hear helicopters and smell smoke – please know that I am fine – several miles away from what’s happening in Minneapolis. But I couldn’t sleep, so I got up to make some tea and watched this video from Samira Mian with plans to create it myself in the morning. Didn’t fix everything that’s happening, of course, but helped me to calm down enough to sleep.

You only need one circle and the rest is straight edge work. Samira uses tracing paper, but you can easily just color the creation you make without transferring it to watercolor paper.

Depending on how you use this activity, you may engage with different mathematical standards. I’ve listed possible connected math content above. Here are a few suggestions for how you might integrate the 8 mathematical practices. Feel free to add your own suggestions in the comments!

1.) Make sense of problems and persevere in solving them. Truly, part of the meditation in these activities comes from making sense of the grid created. Take time and revel in that.

6.) Attend to precision. Especially when tessellating with tracing paper, what parts of your construction are the most important to pay attention to?

I recognize some of these patterns from my history studies of Islam. Good work, Annie. I wish you the best in this coming academic year.

Uncle Paul

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