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Home Education Create a Simple Tessellation

Create a Simple Tessellation

STEAM Fair 2020 Activity

Thanks to Chesapeake Family Life

Tessellations are patterns resulting from arranging, or tiling, shapes without any gaps. They can be made by positioning the same shape with one of these three operations:
Translation can be thought of as sliding the shape along a plane.

What you need:

  • square piece of paper (a small sticky note works well)
  • scissors
  • tape
  • paper
  • pencil


How to create a Tessellation

  1. Draw a shape on the paper

    On the square piece of paper draw a simple shape from one corner to the other

  2. Cut One side

    Carefully cut out one side, then slide it all the way to the other side.

  3. Cut out other shape

    Carefully cut out the other shape and then slide it all the way to the other side and fix in place

  4. Trace Template

    Now that you have your template, place it somewhere on a piece of paper and trace it. Then place the template again on the page so that it fits into itself and then trace again

  5. Fill entire page with this process

    Continue this process until the entire page has been filled

  6. Color your design

    Choose colors for your design and color with crayons, markers, colored pencils or paint.

  7. Trace with black marker

    Trace over each pattern with a black marker

How does it work?

Tessellation, or tiling, has one important rule: wherever lines meet, the angles have to add up to 360 degrees and there should be no gaps or spaces between designs.


Try a new design. Rotation tessellations are accomplished by rotating the tessellated shape. Reflection tessellations are mirrored. You can also create complex tessellations by combining multiple operations.

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