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Alternate Activity 3: Fives and Eights – The Numbers in Pinecones

Alternate Activity 3: Fives and Eights – The Numbers in Pinecones
Alternate Activity 3: Fives and Eights – The Numbers in Pinecones

Activity time: 15 minutes

Materials for Activity

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.

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