Looking for Patterns

One of the activities that was presented in our Numeracy in Nature course sparked an idea to make a connection to one of the books I enjoy sharing with my middle school students “Growing Patterns” by Sarah C. Campbell. 

We started class by using a Google Jamboard to sort photos of flowers into categories. Students were given time to sort all of the images and then shared their thoughts with the class. Some students sorted by color, others by shape of petals and  a majority sorted by number of petals. After time to reflect as a class I then read “Growing Patterns” to the class and we discussed the Fibonacci sequence. Students had great questions about other flowers that reflect the Fibonnaci sequence as well as the size and arrangement of the photos in the book which they noticed reflected the Fibonacci spiral. Once the students were confident in their understanding of the Fibonacci sequence they found their own examples of each number and continued the sequence on their own slide of the Jamboard. We then went outside to view the spirals in the sunflowers growing in our school garden. Students were able to see real-life examples of two different spiral patterns in the seeds of the sunflower. 

Middle school students were engaged and interested to find more examples of the Fibonacci Sequence in nature. I look forward to continuing to explore Numeracy in Nature at the middle school level.

Amanda Bowen, Kingfield Elementary School, Grades 5-8

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