Tuesday, April 14, 2015

MC Escher Tessellations

Fourth graders got to do this neat mind bending project.  We began by looking at the work of MC Escher who loved both math (geometry) and art.  As you can see he did very planned and precise artwork!

We talked about how visual illusions are artworks that tease your brain and make you think! MC Escher was a master of illusions!  Students also pointed out right away that MC Escher is very good at using value (shading) to create the illusion of form (3D shapes).  This was a concept that we studied earlier.

Next we used pre-made tessellation animal stencils to tessellate 5 animals.  It was a challenge to figure out how each of the animals fit perfectly into itself.  There is always a good amount of head scratching on this step!  Afterwards, I point out to the kids that it was tricky to use the pre-made stencils but imagine how much trickier it would have been to invent this art! 

The next class we actually created our own tessellation tile out of a square lined index card and used it to fill in the background!

In order to reference MC Escher's "Drawing Hands" picture students were encouraged to cut out a photo of their own drawing hand or MC Escher's!

Learning Goals: I can...
- Tell about MC Escher (illusion, tessellations)
- Create a tessellation
- Use pattern
- Use contrasting color families to make animals stand out from the background


  1. I really like these!

  2. This is amazing! Thank you for sharing the videos and these beautiful ideas and pieces of artwork.