google-site-verification=_AyRPvVpVTlkA4OSLOYs38MFpDU3qMUoVeCKEhSwMT4 Free Printable Lesson Plans: Back to School Lesson Plans Fibonacci Number Patterns in Nature

Back to School Lesson Plans Fibonacci Number Patterns in Nature

Looking for back to school lesson plans that pop? How about a number pattern walk? Here are some materials to guide you. One of the most challenging aspects of teaching is demonstrating principles in action--not because concepts don't occur outside the printed page. The problem is that educators tend to be textbook-bound. "Growing Patterns," by Sarah C. Campbell, makes the concept of Fibonacci numbers visual, even hands-on for students. For adults, too. Campbell's book was featured on Fox's show "Touch , " in which a non-verbal, emotionally impaired boy, Jake, connects to his father using Fibonacci patterns.
One of the most challenging aspects of teaching is demonstrating principles in action--not because concepts don't occur outside the printed page. The problem is that educators tend to be textbook-bound. "Growing Patterns," by Sarah C. Campbell, makes the concept of Fibonacci numbers visual, even hands-on for students. For adults, too. Campbell's book was featured on Fox's show "Touch" in which a non-verbal, emotionally impaired boy, Jake, connects to his father using Fibonacci patterns.

Shows like "Touch" are important in helping non-handicapped people understand the world of handicapped people, from the inside out. But it goes far beyond this. Instead of a "normal" person helping an "impaired" person, we learn that everyone has gifts. They're just not be as readily visible. Each person can reach out if one understands the language he speaks. In "Touch," Jake who is deemed "disabled," uses the Fibonacci sequence to express his vision of the world. He communicates using the language of pattern and touch.

The Fibonacci sequence, in which the two preceding numbers are added together to form the next number, is 1,1,2,3,5,8,13,21, and so on. The principle was named for the mathematician Leonardo of Pisa who first demonstrated the it. Fibonacci numbers occur in nature as a spiral pattern. Campbell's book shows the phenomenon in pine cones, pineapples, flowers, nautilus seashells, galaxies and other natural objects.

Fibonacci numbers are closely related to the algebraic "golden ratio" (referred to by the Greek letter phi or "golden number") and "golden string" described by Euclid and Pythagoras. These concepts are used in diverse applications from architecture to market analyses. Shown numerically, the concepts may be arcane and confusing. Observed in nature, they are easily grasped. As in Jake's enigmatic world, nature often makes the mysterious clear.

As a teacher, I'm always looking for object lessons that make abstract concepts approachable, especially in nature. I once designed a unit on how symmetry appears in orchids. Several children's authors base their books on hands-on applications. Tana Hoban's picture books show how patterns occur around us. Jerry Pallotta uses nature patterns to teach math. Campbell's book is another excellent resource.

As a special education teacher, I'm also looking for ways to help special needs kids connect with their world and express themselves. Fox "Touch" is an excellent vehicle to do that.  Here are other free printable lesson plans using Fibonacci number patterns

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Freelance writer, Top 100 Yahoo! Voices, Yahoo! News, Shine, Michigan, Detroit), blogger, teacher, mom of 4, happily married 25 years. Graduated GVSU 1986, psychology/general education and special education. continuing ed up to present. Certified MI teacher. Writing Michigan history mystery, children's Gothic fantasy. Areas of expertise: education, relationships, mental health, nutrition, history, world cultures. Passions: faith, Catholic church, sustainable living, interfaith initiatives, living simply that others might simply live. Working on MA in EI education.