## Thanksgiving Pumpkin Pie Craft

This craft perfectly combines early geometry with Thanksgiving cheer!

In order for creativity to flourish, students need a solid understanding of the fundamentals. What underpins the fundamentals is vocabulary. A student has to be able to describe their world and what they see before they can change it and create new things. This activity is a great way to connect the visual aspect of shapes to the vocabulary that students will use for their entire academic careers. Fold a single circle first into 2D then 3D shapes, while getting as detailed as your students are ready for. In the classroom, it might be useful to copy the circle onto an overhead transparency or a sheet of clear Mylar so you can demonstrate for the whole class as you take them through this lesson.

What’s great about this activity is that is can be used for a wide range of ages and developmental levels. Very young students practice their fine motor skills while they fold, and build their vocabularies by identifying the basic shapes they are making. For older and more experienced students, this activity is a great way to practice geometric
vocabulary while learning technical aspects of shapes like faces, vertices and angles. Even better, at every level this is a no-fail activity, so while students are practicing vocabulary, they are succeeding at the basic folds. The small success bolsters confidence, and motivates students to take risks.

Age: 4+

Duration: 15 minutes

Learning Outcomes: Practice and reinforce geometry and vocabulary. Create a cute Thanksgiving craft. Exercise folding skills and following directions.

You’ll Need:

The first step for this adorable holiday craft is to decorate your base. Place a color diffusing circle on an art tray or cookie sheet for each student, and have the pipette liquid watercolors onto the circle. Be sure to cover the entire surface! Students can use a pre-mixed orange, or they can experiment with pipetting yellow and red separately. Leave the circles to dry.

Once the circles are dry, it’s time to fold them up! We have created a special video to demonstrate the process:

Use this opportunity to talk to your students about circles. Circles are a regular shape, with a single face. Challenge students to think of where circles are in the world. They might suggest bicycle or car tires, pizzas or the moon and sun. Older students can talk about the mathematical properties of the circle, like the diameter (the distance between two opposite points), radius (the distance from the center to any single point on the curve) and the circumference (the distance around the outside of the circle). Challenge your students to find the area of their circle, using the formula A = r2. A stands for area. Area is the amount of flat space a shape takes up.

This activity is great for a few different reasons. First, it’s easy to do; as a no-fail activity it’s entertaining to students of all ages and it boosts confidence. Second, it’s an easy-to-scale activity. You can fold a circle with four year olds or fourteen year olds, and the conversations can reinforce basic shape names or basic geometry. Some of the shapes we fold are uncommon, so reinforcing them in this activity is important.

Once students have achieved their 3D Icosahedron, tape the bottom so the shape holds. Now you have the base shape for your slice of pumpkin pie!

To decorate your slice of pie, start by adding a crust! Cut out a triangle of brown construction paper that is approximately 4 1/2″ high (from center base to point) and 5″ wide at the base. Glue the triangle to the base and one edge of your color diffusing icosahedron. Use scissors with wavy blades to trim the base of the triangle so it looks like the crimped edge of a pie crust!

To top off your slice of pie, fluff up a cotton ball and glue it to the top. No pumpkin pie is complete without the whipped cream!

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## Tessellations Mosaics

Inspired by Pattern Blocks, we’ve created 6 shapes that can be used to make wonderful tessellation patterns. Shapes are: equilateral triangle, rhombus, trapezoid, hexagon, square and small rhombus. Each shape is carefully crafted to match the sides and angles of the other shapes allowing your students to use the shapes to create seamless tessellations or to design animals, people, vehicles, structures and patterns!

Unlike Pattern Blocks, which have specific colors for specific shapes, our tessellations mosaics come in a range of 12 bright, glossy, double-sided colors. Your students can make patterns with similar colors or challenge themselves by creating patterns in different colors. Get students acquainted with the different shapes and talk about their characteristics by giving each group a bowlful of the Tessellations Mosaics. Ask students to sort the mosaics only according to color. They must choose one color and find all the shapes in that color. Note: Make sure to point out that the mosaics are double-sided!
Once all the shapes are found, ask students to describe each shape to you.

What do the shapes look like? For instance, some children may say the trapezoid reminds them of a roof. Once your students get a chance to share their opinions on the shapes, discuss the characteristics of the shapes. We’ve included a short description of each of
the shapes later on in this guide. Now comes the fun part—putting the Tessellations Mosaics together! Pull out the provided pattern sheets and photocopy each set. Keep the
original sheets safe for future use. There are 2 patterns on each sheet. Print as many sheets as required for your class. You can provide the entire sheet with both patterns to students or cut the sheets and hand out one pattern each.

Fill in the puzzles with the shapes shown in the outlines. Before students fill in their patterns with the mosaics, encourage them to experiment with colors. For their first pattern, students can make the shapes match all in one color. Once they get comfortable with arranging the Tessellations Mosaics onto the pattern sheet, they
can switch out different colors for the same shapes. For instance, instead of filling a pattern sheet with Tessellations Mosaics all in red, students can switch out some of the red shapes for the same shapes in blue.

Make new patterns with these color arrangements! After all the students have arranged and glued down their mosaics, compare the patterns to see how different color combinations change how the patterns look. These patterns are intended to teach students how to put the mosaics together. They are meant as a guide to understand how the edges and angles of the shapes can be matched. Some of the patterns can be replicated to make regular tessellations. These patterns can be tiled together to make even larger and more impressive patterns. Ask children to cut their patterns and arrange one big tessellation on a bulletin board.

To add more value to your Tessellations Mosaics pack, go online to download our amazing patterns featuring kaleidoscope-like designs and fun animals! Click on the ‘Artwork’ link to access the resources in printable PDFs. You can access the artwork directly here. Fill in the designs with the Tessellations Mosaics! Draw thematic backgrounds, such as an ocean, the plains or a jungle onto the animal puzzle cards!

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