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Surf for More Math

Lesson 6 - Tessellations


To encourage students to have fun on the Web while learning about Tessellations, here are some games and interactive activities they can do on their own or in pairs.


Create and analyze designs with tiles that tessellate a plane.

Builds Upon

Student Book pages 248-249

Instructions for Use

Tessellate lets students create, recognize and explore the properties of tessellations.

To use Tessellate, select the shape and mode from the radio buttons at the right of the applet.

Click the button "Tessellate" to fill the drawing area with tessellated copies of the shape. Use the pull-down menus to change the colours of the design.

To make the tessellation design more complex, click the "Edit Edges" radio button. Then click on one of the sides of the shape and drag it to a new position. Then click the "Tessellate" button.

Click the "Edit Corners" radio button and drag it to a new position. Then click the "Tessellate" button to create other tessellation designs.

The "Information" button gives the area, perimeter, and the Cartesian coordinates of the shapes vertices.


The Tessellation Tool prompts students to build tessellations.

To use The Tessellation Tool, click on the up or down arrows, at the right of the workspace, to select a shape. Drag it into the workspace. Click the "Translate" button to move the shape in any direction without changing its orientation. Click the "Rotate" button to change the shape's orientation without changing its position.

To change the colour of a shape, click on the shape, and select a new colour from the pop-up menu. This will change the colour of both the shape you create and its model in the list on the right. All polygons on the slider have sides of the same length, so any two sides fit cleanly together. When one polygon is attached to another, the points at the attached corners will turn yellow.

To start over, press Reset.


Puzzle Parlor is a series of games that helps students flip and turn shapes to make a pattern.

To use Puzzle Parlor, click on a piece to drag it to a location inside the tray. Click on it again to drop the piece in location. Press a right key arrow to rotate the piece and a left-key arrow to flip the piece.

There are several games for students to select. They range in difficulty. Try all of them.