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What is a Tessellation?

Updated on December 6, 2012
triangle regular tessellation
triangle regular tessellation | Source
square regular tessellation
square regular tessellation | Source
hexagon regular tessellation
hexagon regular tessellation | Source

What is a Tessellation?

Tessellations are a fun math activity that teach students about shapes and how they fit together. using shapes to tile an area with no gaps or overlaps creates a tessellation.

Think about a puzzle, even different shapes can create a tessellation. Let's look at different types of tessellations.

Regular Tessellations

A regular tessellation is made up of a regular polygon that are all the same shape and size. The tessellation must cover the entire area with no gaps or overlaps and could go one forever and ever in any direction.


semi regular tessellation
semi regular tessellation | Source

Semi Regular Tesselations

A semi regular tessellation is made by two or more regular polygons creating a tessellation with polygons that are different shapes and sizes.

Each vertex must have the same configuration. This is an important part of the tessellation rule.


Teaching Tessellations

A great way to start out teaching tessellations would be to use tessellation grids, they can be found online in various configurations. These grids in squares and triangles patterns allow students to explore many different configurations of tessellations.

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