“Fish” (1964) by M.C. Escher
This week’s chapter in the book focused on integrating the arts into mathematics in the classroom, and our task was to find one piece of art, of any medium, that could be used to teach a math concept in class. I chose to use one of M.C. Escher’s paintings. This piece, a picture of fish, two different colored fish, ordered together in one large, repeating pattern, could be used to help teach several concepts in mathematics to elementary school students. For younger students in grades K-3, it could be used to help students understand the idea of patterns. With a visual like this, they could see how patterns are formed not only with colors, but with shapes as well and that some patterns may have a combination of various different aspects that all come together to make it a cohesive piece. For older students in grades 4-6, this piece could be used to talk about tessellations, which is basically using shapes repeatedly to create a pattern without any gaps. They could use this picture as a starting point to talk about tessellations and what the concept entails with a more relateable approach than simply throwing shapes mashed together at them. Everyone can see the fish and may be able to more easily recognize it is in a pattern thanks to its details than normal shapes would allow for. This Escher piece, and many of his other works, can be used in a variety of different mathematical concepts, these were just a two that really stood out to me.