State testing is coming up soon and it is time for me to pull out my geometric art project. My students test in the morning for 4 days and are just exhausted for the afternoon so I do something fun and relaxing. When my daughter was in 5th grade she did this project and her teacher gave me a copy of it. I have been doing this project every year for over fifteen years and the kids still enjoy it. You will need at least three 45 minute periods to complete two pictures.
To do this project you need to have the following items:
- Black poster board cut into squares to fit templates (construction paper is too thin)
- Tapestry needles (you can buy these at any fabric store, they have a blunt tip and large eyes so the string can go through.)
- Crochet string (buy at the fabric store)
- Copies of templates for each student.
- Copies of directions for each student. (I laminate these and use them over and over each year.)
- Masking tape (Place two long pieces at each desk.)
- Push pin thumb tacks. (They are easier to hold on to.)
- You can also order other products that are similar from mini math projects. (See the circle picture below.)
I always start with the triangle, it is the easiest one and even my basic level students can do this one successfully. All of my students complete this one first. Then they are allowed to choose one more to work on. I try to direct them to one they will be able to do independently.
- Pass out template and cut out on the dotted lines.
- Have the students tape the template on the back of their poster board with masking tape. Do not cover the numbers,
- Pass out the thumb tacks and have students punch a hole in each of the numbered dots on the template. Tell them to place it on the desk and hold it away from where they are punching. Have bandages ready, someone always punches their fingers.
- The students have to give me the thumb tack back before I give them a needle. (Believe it or not they will walk off with them and start sticking each other. (UGH.)
- Then have them pick a color string they would like to use and take a long piece, cut it and thread the needle. Do not have them put a knot at the bottom. It will just go through the paper.
- Tape the end of the string to the template in an area close to the beginning number. Do not cover the numbers.
- Follow the numbers on the directions. When they hit the word CUT, cut the string and tape to the back and pick a new color if they like.
When the students are working on the pentagon they gasp and announce, " It makes a star." and "There is a pattern to this and I don't even need to look at the numbers." Imagine that.
The hexagon takes longer and students who have patience will need to do this one. The hardest part is to start with the correct points. I have to help them get started but once they understand the pattern they can work independently.
The apple is another one for my basic level students. I ran out of red string so this student used blue. Sometimes they will do the apple red and the stem green.
I hope that your students enjoy this as much as mine do.