Patterns in shapes
Look at these two shapes.
The shape on the left is a scribble -- there is no regularity to it.
But the shape on the right definitely has some structure. Here are some of its properties:
- the opposite sides are parallel and the same length
- all the angles are equal
- it is symmetrical about vertical and horizontal mirror lines.
These properties are like rules that tell you how the shape is made. So this shape has a definite pattern.
An exploration of shapes and their properties should therefore be included in patterning activities.
Many of these shapes (like the rectangle above) can be found everywhere around us; others may be constructed using the ideas that arise in exploring our environment.
The language of shapes
Pattern blocks provide an excellent introduction to some basic geometrical concepts.