This is an activity based on the picture book A Cloak for a Dreamer
- Students will be able to demonstrate an understanding of tessellation through creating a design that uses more than one shape in a tessellated pattern.
- Students will be able to explain how the characteristics of the shapes enabled their ability to tessellate the pattern.
- The characteristics of shapes determine their ability to tessellate.
Attribute blocks, paper and felts or
DLO “Tessellation” Level 3 Geometry
This activity is based on the picture book A Cloak for a Dreamer
Author: Aileen Friedman
Illustrator: Kim Howard
Publisher: Scholastic (1994)
A tailor issues each of his three sons with a challenge to create a cloak for the Archduke. Each son works to meet the criteria for colour and strength. The role of tessellating shapes becomes important as the brothers each work on designs that connect small pieces of cloth. When the youngest son presents his cloak made of circles, and plenty of gaps, the family works together to save the beauty of the design by creating tessellating hexagons.
- Prior to reading, set the context for the book by introducing the occupation of tailor and the historical context for the story. If possible have some examples (images or items) that show patchwork sewing techniques.
- Share the book with your students drawing their attention to the geometric vocabulary. Create a word bank as you read. At the end of the story return to the end papers and discuss the tessellations as they relate to the cloaks in the story. Focus on highlighting the vocabulary in the word bank.
- Next, use the DLO “Tessellations” or a set of attribute blocks and discuss the characteristics of the different shapes that enable you to cover an area without gaps. Ask students to experiment in pairs or small groups with simple patterns of 2 or more shapes and see if they can make the whole pattern tessellate.
- Support students to discover the angles of the corners and the lengths of the edges are important factors. Create a set of shared success criteria for a tessellation.
- Next ask students to create a banner for a country, or a team, or their family that uses more than one shape and meets the criteria of a tessellation. They should choose colours that have significance to them just as the characters in the story did. The banner can be created on paper by tracing attribute blocks or digitally by using the DLO.
- Ask students to evaluate each other’s work by referring to the set of success criteria and giving feedback to their peer.