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Symmetry and Pattern

found in: arts; math; preK-2; 3-5; 6-8; 9-12

Symmetry and Pattern: The Art of Oriental Carpets examines mathematical concepts used by weavers in rug making. The art and mathematics activities can be adjusted for all grades.

About Symmetry and Pattern:This section defines and illustrates the general concepts of symmetry, asymmetry, and the four basic symmetries and how they are employed in border patterns, field patterns, grids and tessellations. Rug patterns are created with color and design elements.

About Oriental Carpets highlights major rug-producing regions in the world. It describes how rugs and carpets feature two-dimensional designs but have three-dimensional structure. Students learn about warp. weft, and two types of knots, Turkish and Persian, used to create a rug’s pile.

Rug Gallery is a collection of 28 rug images and descriptions of how symmetry/asymmetry and pattern were used. The images can be enlarged and the text is accompanied by a schematic representation of the border and field patterns.

Educational Resources include a glossary, bibliographies, links to related websites, gallery of student work, and activities for students. Observing Symmetry and Seeing Symmetry All Around Us list indoor and outdoor activities that can be modified for grade level. One asks students to look closely at the letters of the alphabet. Pattern-Making Activities For Classroom Use  suggests activities that can be used or adjusted for K-12 students using pencil and paper, computers, and other materials, such as rubberbands on geoboards, blocks, and cutout shapes. Note: here are active links for Tesselmania! and Geometer’s Sketchpad.


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