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Numbers in Nature: Playing with the Fibonacci Sequence

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Numbers in Nature: Playing with the Fibonacci Sequence


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Designed for ages grades K-5 and to be done at home or with small groups, this interactive multi-activity mini-course introduces children to the Fibonacci sequence and how math and art can intersect with science and nature. It takes one of the most fascinating mathematical topics, the Fibonacci sequence, and the related Golden Ratio, and shows children how math can be used to see patterns in all kinds of natural settings, such as leaf arrangement, snail shells, and hurricanes. The mini-course includes a richly illustrated story-based lesson, as well as games, activities, and projects that appeal to all types of learners.

An illustrated story about Fibonacci and his imaginary bean stalk introduces children to the mathematical concepts of sequences and sets, as well as an illustration of Fibonacci’s famous pattern. By creating their own Fibonacci Flower Books, children then begin to investigate some of the places the famous sequence is found in nature. Children are then encouraged to visualize the relationship between numbers and shapes as they learn how to create their own Golden Spirals from the Fibonacci sequence. What elements of nature can they see in their spirals? Next, in the Purely Numbers Game, children reinforce and expand their understanding of these mathematical concepts by making their own mathematical sets. Finally, children will have fun testing how well they know the Fibonacci sequence by playing the movement-based Walk for Fibonacci.

Most materials needed to complete the mini-course can be cut from the book. The mini-course requires only a few additional common household items to complete the activities: Colored pencils, eraser, pencil, scissors, mathematical compass (optional), two dice, blank paper, tape or glue.

Upon completing the mini-course, children will be provided with links to additional online resources and will earn new concept badges for their Science Tool Kit (included in the mini-course)- – including Sequence, Pattern, Phyllotaxis, Opposite Phyllotaxis, and Sum.

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