Fractals in Nature


Source: Rawpixel

Type: Investigation

Theme: Geometry

Grades: 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10

Learning Target: Students will learn how patterns in nature and mathematics repeat, while producing their own fractal artwork.

Instructions

This is a group project. Submit as a Word Document or Sway.

  1. Research fractals in nature. Write down a list of plants from your area that might exhibit fractal-like designs.
  2. Take a walk in a natural area or garden and photograph one plant that demonstrates a fractal-like repeating patterns at different scales.
  3. Review the seven principles of design.
  4. As a group, create multiple pieces of art (cut paper, line art, or Code.org's AppLab). Model your art after the fractal you found in nature. Each person will create one piece of art.
  5. Fractal artwork. 
    1. Design must have:
      1. Multiple 'generations' of iterations
      2. Pattern repetition
    2. Sketch three designs and select one.
    3. Create your artwork
  6. Obtain and provide a Peer Review.
  7. Revise your work.

Submission

  1. Sway, Powerpoint or Word document.
  2. One photograph of the natural fractal.
  3. Describe how your artwork contains iterations and pattern repetition. Include a description of how it resembles a natural fractal.
  4. Sketches (three per student)
  5. Final artwork (one per student)
  6. Peer Review

Resources

Exit Ticket
CCSS Math Practice
  • I can model with mathematics.
  • I can look for and express regularity in repeated reasoning.
NGSS Crosscutting Concepts
  • Patterns

Samples

Sword Fern Example