Patterns and Design
More Shapes Design
Age: 6 & up
Prerequisites: The child should have considerable experience with design work using fraction circles without separable sectors together with polygons, including use of the third row of buttcons in the designer's pallette. The child should also be able to match sectors with supplementary internal angles of polygons.
Screen objects: Pallette and blank document. Pallette has eight outlines of polygons in one column, ten outlines of fraction circles in next. Fraction circles and polygons line up so that the triangle is next to fraction circle with three sectors, etc. To the left of the one sector fraction circle is a buttcon with a cursor on it. This is the moving/resizing tool. Below this and to the left of the two-sector fraction circle is the buttcon for printing. The third row of buttcons from the previous design exercise is also present. There are also buttcons for grouping and ungrouping figures.
Presentation: (Individual or small group)
Variations: In subsequent presentations, show how arbitrary sets of figures can be grouped and ungrouped.
Extensions: Work with tesselations, islamic patterns, African textile designs.
Points of Interest: Discovery of relationships between figures.
Control of Error: Student's aesthetic judgement.
Direct Aims: Opportunity to apply understanding of fraction circles, sectors and polygons, experiment through design to discover relationships.
Indirect Aims: Preparation for recognition of external angles of regular polygons.
Software Affordance: The figures can be perfectly formed to allow children to discover true relationships between them. Figures of many sizes can be drawn (e.g., a number of concentric pentagons can be drawn inside a circle with five sectors).
Software Constraints: Unlike the polygons in the geometric cabinet, the polygons cannot be rotated. Unlike the polygons made of geometry sticks, the sides of the polygons are rigid and cannot be added or removed. The sectors of the fraction circles cannot be removed from the circles. The sectors and circles cannot be rotated.