Sunday, 25 March 2012

Hexagonal Tiling

Trying Some Tiling

On a recent trip to Barcelona, I thought these lovely hexagonal Antoni Gaudi tiles in La Perdrera would generate some tiling investigations.
Reproductions are also used on the pavements of the city centre.
On returning to school I showed this photo to my students and we discussed the tiles, their shape and design and wondered if we could make some of our own that fitted together in the same way.  We noticed that 3 different ideas centred on alternate vertices which when they were put together made 3 different yet complete designs.  The bottom left tile bothered us somewhat though, as it didn't seem to fit the pattern.  Would ours do the same?  
So we investigated, first for a homework and then with the help of the photocopier and some good old cutting and sticking.  More of an art activity than maths, it could be argued, but the end results were very satisfying and made a stunning display.

First, some that didn't follow the above pattern:  

Then, others that did!

The bottom left tile on the original didn't bother us any longer!  Well done Year 6!


  1. What fantastic results you got from this! Great how seeing a set of tiles can set off such a creative maths - art crossover!

  2. I know that I commenting on this three years later, but I just came across it now (thank you Mr.Gregg). Looks like what your students figured out was that it wasn't enough to repeat the pattern in a linear way, but that they had to also rotate the design as well. You said that this was more of an arts activity than maths, but I wonder if, because of the way the angles work and why, the attention to symmetry, and even the math-infused graphics that your students chose to use, if this project could arguably be framed as more of a maths project than an arts project. In any case, they are vibrant and lovely.