Archive for the ‘Patterns in Nature’ Category

Science and Math in Action Block:

Class 1 Patterns in Nature

Learning About Patterns, Golden Ratio, and Fibonacci Sequence

flicker jitz

Nautilus shell cross section
Photo: Flicker Common Use Jitze Couperus

For those in the Science and Math in Action block here are the pre-class materials for your students. Please have them participate by doing the vocabulary and homework as well as watching the videos and visiting the links before class. I’ll send out a reminder next week as well, after the holiday.


  •  Pattern
  • Symmetry
  • Golden ratio
  • Ratio
  • Spiral
  • Fractal
  • Mirror symmetry
  • D’Arcy Thompson (person, what did he/she do?)
  • Benoit Mandelbrot (person, what did he/she do?)
  • Leonardo Fibonacci (person, what did he/she do?)

Homework: Draw examples of the following symmetry (show instructor first day of block of classes)—

Use this image as reference: http://faculty.uca.edu/johnc/BodySymmetry.gif

  1. Bilateral symmetry (draw an insect or animal with mirror halves)
  2. Radial symmetry (draw a starfish with arms that are the same)
  3. Spiral symmetry (draw a seashell with a spiral, or you could do a pine cone or spiral plant)

Resources: For All Ages (5-12)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O7x3LBWn-Ao although an older video this one is one of the few good ones I found about patterns in nature (14 min).

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WZH3PBdH5WQ a great video by Disney on math and patterns in nature along with the Golden Ratio with Donald Duck in Mathemagic Land.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SjSHVDfXHQ4 a great TED talk about the Fibonacci sequence that we’ll study in class. Younger kids may get bored with this one, but it’s only 6 minutes.

http://www.demilked.com/amazing-nature-patterns/ check out some very beautiful patterns in nature. Try to identify the repeating design and how it might be functional.

http://www.mathsisfun.com/algebra/patterns.html here are three simple pattern match games that are perfect for kids.

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