Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Math Art with Fibonacci

We read the book Blockhead: The Life of Fibonacci and then did some math art.

In Blockhead: The Life of Fibonacci Fibonacci is ridiculed for daydreaming as a child, but then grows up and becomes a merchant. In his travels he learns about Arabic numerals, counts everything and poses several mathematical questions. Both Fibonacci's Rabbit Question and number pattern are clearly explained during the context of the story.

Lucinda at Navigating by Joy recommended this book and I'm so glad she did. This is the type of book that inspires a variety of activities. We used it to inspire us to create Fibonacci Spirals. It would have gone well with our Roman Numeral Unit when we played Roman Numeral Bingo. Pisa, the Leaning Tower, nature study, ancient travel and boats, and trading could all be covered with this book.

Fibonacci's pattern 1, 1, 2, 3, 5, 8, 13, 21, 34 and so on is created by adding the previous two numbers in the sequence together to get the next number. The Fibonacci numbers are abundant in nature and can be used to create beautiful spirals.

After reading the story we got out some graph paper and began coloring.

This picture represents the first three numbers in the sequence.
Red Square - 1x1
Orange Square - 1x1
Yellow Square - 2x2

The next four numbers in the sequence were added.
Green Square - 3x3
Light Blue Square - 5x5
Dark Blue Square - 8x8

The spiral is created by connecting the corners of the squares in order of their creation. This spiral was created with strait lines, but it could also have been drawn with curves.

Next we worked on the Rabbit Problem.
If one pair of baby rabbits takes one month to become a pair of adults, and adult rabbits have one pair of baby rabbits per month, how many pairs of rabbits will there be at the end of one year?

Month Babies Adults Total
0 1 0 1
1 0 1 1
2 1 1 2
3 1 2 3
4 2 3 5
5 3 5 8
6 5 8 13
7 8 13 21
8 13 21 34
9 21 34 55
10 34 55 89
11 55 89 144
12 89 144 233

233 Pairs of Rabbits! No wonder there were so many bunnies running around in Colorado where we used to live. To see more of our Math Activities please visit our Math Page.

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  1. I really like how you used the graph paper to create the spirals - I think we might try that soon. You're right, there are so many ways to use the book. Thank you for the mention.

    1. You're welcome. Thank you for introducing us to this book.

  2. This reminds me of when I lived in Arizona and regularly saw dozens of rabbits at a corner yard. Now I know why :) You are such a great resource for families teaching older kids at home. Thanks for sharing this activity with us at After School!


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