This year in math, fourth graders will spend time exploring more complex shapes than ever. The old squares and triangles of the early grades now expand into multi-sided figures, many of them three dimensional. In future grades, these explorations will form the basis of advanced geometry. For now, the most important priority is for kids to develop an awareness of how figures work in space.
In simple terms, this means that now is a great time for creative math play. Here's a math activity that blends with art: making shapes that nest into one another, or “tessellate.” We've all seen these forms in nature—a beehive, for example, is a prime example. Or perhaps you’re a fan of M.C. Escher, whose work so famously links to math. Your child doesn't have to be a naturalist or renowned artist to enjoy tessellations—all it takes is some index cards, scissors, and some open-eyed imagination!
What You Need:
- White 3"x5" index cards
- Scotch tape
- Blank white paper