## 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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## Project Spotlight: Straws and Connectors

What’s so great about our Straws and Connectors? Besides the colors, the simplicity of combinations, and the potential for lessons about geometric structure? Learn more below!

There are two simple components in the Straws and Connectors pack: the straws, which come in a variety of bright and fun colors, and the connectors, which feature 6 prongs to position the straws in any direction.

The most basic shape that students can easily construct is a square using the straws and connectors. Add on more straws and connectors to fill in the structure and turn the square into a cube!

Explore more three-dimensional shapes and talk about their properties as students build them.

The straws are long enough that they can be bent to make curves in the structure, so you are not simply limited to making square structures. It’s a great cooperative material as well! Students can work on separate pieces and combine them all together to make a larger sculpture. This way, children use their skills in coordination, cooperation and critical thinking to create a finished piece.

We challenged our students to build their own projects separately from each other. Students first had to brainstorm their ideas and then bring their projects to life. Can you guess what this project will be?

You can see how this art camper continued creating curves in her structure. This perfectly illustrates just how versatile our Straws and Connectors are!

This art camper made a boat!

And this is a rocket!

Straws and Connectors are a perfect gift to your children this holiday season! Give your students the ability to exercise multiple motor functions while creating sculptures they can truly be proud of!

See more about the R6085 Straws and Connectors here:

What else can you make with the Straws and Connectors?

Do you have a Straws and Connectors pack? If so, what kinds of structures did you make with them? We’d love to read your comments below!

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