A tessellation is a shape that repeats itself across a plane without any gaps or overlays. The three shapes that make perfect tessellations are triangles, squares and hexagons. All three of these shapes have congruent sides. This means that the angles within the shape equal 360 degrees. The process to make a simple tessellation is easy. More complicated tessellations take time and concentration. Experiment with tessellation shapes by starting with the simplest form, a square.
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Things you need
Measure, mark and draw a 2-inch square on a piece of paper. Cut out the square.
Pick one side of the square, it does not matter which one, and draw a triangle using the edge of the square as one of the sides. Make the triangle 1-inch tall. Cut out the triangle. This is a simple tessellation form template.
Place a full sheet of paper on a smooth flat work surface. Place the tessellation template in the top left hand corner of the paper so the cut-out triangle is on the bottom. Match the sides of the square with the top and left hand edge of the paper. Trace around the template.
Move the template to the right. Do not rotate the square. Line the left edge of the template up with the drawn line on the right hand side of the first traced tessellation. Line the top of the template with the top edge of the paper. Trace around the tessellation template. Repeat the process across the page.
Flip the tessellation over so the triangle is at the top. Line the left edge of the tessellation template up with the left hand side of the paper. Line the top of the tessellation up with the bottom drawn edge of the first row of tesselations. The edges of the triangle will line up also if the template is flipped correctly. Trace around the tessellation.
Move the template to the right. Do not rotate the square. Line up the left edge of the template with the drawn line on the right side of the first traced tessellation in the second row. Line the top of the template with the bottom edge of the tessellation from the previous row. The edges of the triangle will line up also if the template is flipped correctly. Trace around the tessellation template. Repeat the process across the page.
Continue down the page repeating Steps 3 through 6 making sure to flip the tessellation template at the beginning of each row. The triangle alternates from the top to the bottom as each new row is started. Repeat flipping the tessellation template and tracing around the pattern until the page is completely covered. The end result will show a rows of diamonds surrounded by squares.
Tips and warnings
- Colour in the tessellation to add dimension.
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