My experiences with making tessellations extends to first grade. We created
translations that were 5" squares (pre-cut). The paper upon which the
squares were glued was pre-cut to be 15" x 15". Although this was a highly
simplified version, students caught on quickly and the results were very
I used the McNeill video with tremendous success for grades 3 - 6. I have
also used it with my pre-service students. Again, with great success across
My approach in using the video is to explain concepts and vocabulary first
and to give an overview of what the video shows. The next step is to show
the segment of the video that relates to the type of tessellation being
taught. Kids do not attempt to make a tessellation during this first
viewing. This is strictly motivational.
After the first viewing, I teach students how to grid the paper. Then the
video is rewound and shown in small segments while students work along with
Jim. This produced wonderful results.