Submitted by: Myriam Ramos, Antilles High School, Fort Buchanan, San Juan, Puerto Rico
Unit: M. C. Escher - Design - Math Integration
Grade Level: 6 through 12



1. Create a tessellations using rotation and translation.
2. Create a tessellation using reflection.
3. Art Appreciation - the work of M. C. Escher
4. Use elements and principles of design - color, balance, repetition/pattern.
5. Career emphasis - textile design or wrapping paper design


Tessellation, reflection, rotation, translation, repetition



Present works of M. C. Escher
Demonstrate steps on overhead (See Jim McNeill Demo)


tessellations tessellations



Escher posters (See below)
Construction Paper. rectangles (or 3" x 3" (7.6 x 7.6 cm) squares)
Construction Paper. triangles
Rulers. and Protractors.
Permanent Markers., Colored Pencils.. or Crayons.
Drawing Paper.


Escher Posters


IAD's Tessellation page- With lessons, information, pictures, and history.
Tessellations:How to Create Them [VHS]. - with Jim McNeill
Tessellations Posters from Crystal Productions.
Jim McNeill Demonstration
M.C. Escher's Official website



Tessellations : The History and Making of Symmetrical Designs.- Learn step-by-step how to create translations, rotations, and reflections. Written with students and teachers in mind, this picture book provides clearly illustrated demonstrations that can be used for independent study or as a teacher resource.

Introduction to Tessellations. - This clear introduction to tessellations and other intriguing geometric designs help students explore polygons, regular polygons and combinations of regular polygons, Escher-type tessellations, Islamic art designs, and tessellating letters.

Escher: The Complete Graphic Work.- An account of the life and work of this artist, drawn from family papers and Escher's own correspondence and essays, with an illustrated catalogue of his works, some of which had not previously been reproduced.


1. Demonstrate tessellation techniques on overhead (See Jim McNeill Demo):

  • Translation

  • Rotation

2. Hand out rectangles to create rotation and translation tessellations.
3. Copy four times in sketchbook to create a mosaic.
4. Hand out equilateral triangles.
5. Demonstrate reflection.
6. Brainstorm symmetrical objects and group in three's.
7. Create a design with three related symmetrical objects on sides of triangle.
8. Draw adjacent equilateral triangles on 12" x 18" (30.5 x 46 cm) paper using protractor and ruler.
Transfer designs from triangle te3mplate to 12" x 18"(30.5 x 46 cm) drawing paper. See example
9. Color with markers, crayons or colored pencils.


For more information on this lesson, email Myriam Ramos cemy@caribe.net



Did students successfully use rotation and translation to create a tessellation?
Did students successfully use reflection to create a tessellation?
Did students show an awareness and appreciation of the work of M. C. Escher?
Did students effectively use color, repetition to create a strong design?



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