This week let’s play with yarn! We are going to play with hyperbolic space. You will need some yarn and a crochet hook. You don’t need to know how to crochet, but you will need a little patience and a lot of desire to play. These don’t have to be perfect, and “mistakes” just add to their beauty. There is a great TED Talk on crochet coral that is a great intro into this activity as well (click here), or just watch the videos I put together below. I thought about drawing hyperbolic space as an activity, but decided that having the tactile fluffy math in hands would be much more exciting this week:
I love paper cutting, so last week I did kirigami with some of my classes. What was so fun about this activity is the amount of play and discovery that happened with two simple supplies (paper and scissors).
Below are the videos I recorded for my classes to be able to go back and work at their own pace. These videos are just a starting place. There are so many methods for folding, cutting, and scoring that can be discovered and explored. My son made dioramas of forests and landscapes that fold with his creations. If you like pop-up books, this is a great place to start.
I love fiber arts and weaving. So, I have one more weaving post for this series, but this time it’s with paper. This activity is great for all ages and can be done with ribbon, bias tape or strips of paper. I like to use origami paper strips.
The idea here is to play with repeating patterns and find where you can create secondary patterns, tessellations, and other shapes. Learners can experiment with over/under weavings and see what amazing patterns emerge. Make sure to have lots of colors, and encourage experimentation (diagonal, skipping, color patterns in warp and weft, gradients, etc.)
Math is beautiful. Math is playing with patterns and abstract thoughts. This is a wonderful activity to tickle the math parts of our brains.
Weavings above are done by my family and friends. My daughter and son really made a week of weaving papers.
Some questions to ponder:
- Can you create a matrix or array that can represent your pattern?
- For precalc and above – what would operations on your matrices result in if you mapped colors to numbers?
- Can you create curves or other optical illusions with weaving techniques?
- How can weaving relate to our numbers? (number line, even/odd, etc.)
- Can you weave a function? What is the input and output?