Alternate Activity 3: Fives and Eights – The Numbers in Pinecones
Activity time: 15 minutes
Materials for Activity
- Handout 1, Fibonacci-by-Numbers Pinecone 1
- Handout 2, Fibonacci-by-Numbers Pinecone 2
- Color pencils to share
- Optional: Painter’s tape or push pins to display finished artwork
Preparation for Activity
- Copy Handouts 1 and 2 for all participants.
- Identify a large tabletop or wall space to display finished artwork.
Description of Activity
This activity reveals the Fibonacci patterns of 5 and 8 in the pinecone.
On Handout 1 you will notice that the scales that form the pinecone’s spiral pattern are numbered 1 through 5. Ask participants to color in all the scales, by number—i.e., color every scale numbered with a 1 in one color, all the scales numbered with a 2 in a different color, etc.) They will see a spiral pattern emerging.
Next, ask participants to color the pinecone on Handout 2, also by numbers (in this case, some scales are numbered with a 1, the rest are numbered with a 2). Coloring will reveal there are eight spiral paths.
Point out that the two colored-in drawings demonstrate that a single pinecone image can be observed different ways. Yet, it’s obvious that the Fibonacci numbers are represented.