Fibonacci and Leonardo
1 Teacher Background
Teacher background that’s helpful is a great TED Talk by Arthur Benjamin, “The Magic of Fibonacci Numbers.” It provides a deeper understanding and you can utilize some of the additional items for higher level learners.
2 Building Background Knowledge
Fibonacci was a mathematician that noticed and observed interesting patterns in nature eventually leading to creating a sequence of numbers. Write the numbers 1, 1, 2, 3, 5, 8, 13, 21, 34, ____ up for students and see if they can see a pattern.
The pattern is the two previous numbers are added to create the next.
Prior to showing the movie, I write up the number sequence and see if the students notice any patterns. They usually love this challenge and within a few minutes can continue the pattern. This way, when it comes up in the movie, that understanding gets confirmed and they can focus a bit more on how it occurs in nature.
Show the movie, “Fibonacci Sequence.” To utilize Brainpop movies, there is a fee. I always like to watch the movie prior to showing it to my students so, depending on their level of understanding, I can pause at the important points. It talks about the mathematician that discovered it, Leonardo di Pisa, and how he took a pondering about rabbits, to come upon the Fibonacci Sequence. It would be helpful to familiarize yourself with this story as it's pretty unusual, nowadays, for people to just sit around and ponder things like this. I pointed out that he lived during the time of no television, etc. and people did do things like this back then.
3 Direct Instruction
Select the lesson “Leonardo Numbers.” Go through the slides and utilize the student handouts as is appropriate for your class and time limit. I found the handouts a bit small for my students to write on, so I enlarged them on the copy machine.
There are clear examples of how they are found in nature and if you have any real-life samples (pinecones, circular cactus, Natilus shells, flowers, etc) to bring in, it's more helpful. The thing I noticed about Fibonacci numbers is students don't have the awareness that they exist and, once they do, they become easily identifiable in so many different places.
I broke this activity over a two-day, forty-five minute period, so I gave a prize (candy) after the first day to students who went home and brought in a real world example showing the Fibonacci Sequence.Since the activity showed a pinecone, sunflower, and flower, they couldn't use those examples. This really showed a level of understanding and helped the second day to showcase real examples and discuss what could or couldn't be within a sequence.
4 Drawing your own Fibonacci Spiral
Provide students with ½” graph paper and have them replicate the Fibonacci rectangles. A one-by-one square, connected to a one-by-one square, with a two-by-two square beneath, etc. Show when you start in the initial square and spiral out, you get that Fibonacci spiral.
This provided really tricky for some of my fourth grade students so I modeled this and then paired them up with some fifth graders or other students who understood.
If there is time, starting in the center, you spiral out going through the center of each of the colored squares to show a clear spiral. When usuing colored pencils, as we did, using a permanent black marker to do the spiral allowed it to be more readily seen.
5 Optional: Coding out the Spiral
In partners have students try to create a Fibonacci spiral within Hopscotch. Starting in the center and then spiraling from there. My students were already comfortable with using Hopscotch to code. If not this would require some additional time to play around with the application. I find that there is always a student "expert" in the midst that is more than willing to help the class start up and explain the initial way to begin this project.
Then, have them share their designs.
Key Standards Supported
Distinguish between defining attributes (e.g., triangles are closed and three-sided) versus non-defining attributes (e.g., color, orientation, overall size); build and draw shapes to possess defining attributes.
Compose two-dimensional shapes (rectangles, squares, trapezoids, triangles, half-circles, and quarter-circles) or three-dimensional shapes (cubes, right rectangular prisms, right circular cones, and right circular cylinders) to create a composite shape, and compose new shapes from the composite shape.4
Partition circles and rectangles into two and four equal shares, describe the shares using the words halves, fourths, and quarters, and use the phrases half of, fourth of, and quarter of. Describe the whole as two of, or four of the shares. Understand for these examples that decomposing into more equal shares creates smaller shares.
Recognize and draw shapes having specified attributes, such as a given number of angles or a given number of equal faces.5 Identify triangles, quadrilaterals, pentagons, hexagons, and cubes.
Partition a rectangle into rows and columns of same-size squares and count to find the total number of them.
Partition circles and rectangles into two, three, or four equal shares, describe the shares using the words halves, thirds, half of, a third of, etc., and describe the whole as two halves, three thirds, four fourths. Recognize that equal shares of identical wholes need not have the same shape.
Understand that shapes in different categories (e.g., rhombuses, rectangles, and others) may share attributes (e.g., having four sides), and that the shared attributes can define a larger category (e.g., quadrilaterals). Recognize rhombuses, rectangles, and squares as examples of quadrilaterals, and draw examples of quadrilaterals that do not belong to any of these subcategories.
Partition shapes into parts with equal areas. Express the area of each part as a unit fraction of the whole. For example, partition a shape into 4 parts with equal area, and describe the area of each part as 1/4 of the area of the shape.
Draw points, lines, line segments, rays, angles (right, acute, obtuse), and perpendicular and parallel lines. Identify these in two-dimensional figures.
Classify two-dimensional figures based on the presence or absence of parallel or perpendicular lines, or the presence or absence of angles of a specified size. Recognize right triangles as a category, and identify right triangles.
Recognize a line of symmetry for a two-dimensional figure as a line across the figure such that the figure can be folded along the line into matching parts. Identify line-symmetric figures and draw lines of symmetry.
Understand that attributes belonging to a category of two- dimensional figures also belong to all subcategories of that category. For example, all rectangles have four right angles and squares are rectangles, so all squares have four right angles.
Classify two-dimensional figures in a hierarchy based on properties.
Use a pair of perpendicular number lines, called axes, to define a coordinate system, with the intersection of the lines (the origin) arranged to coincide with the 0 on each line and a given point in the plane located by using an ordered pair of numbers, called its coordinates. Understand that the first number indicates how far to travel from the origin in the direction of one axis, and the second number indicates how far to travel in the direction of the second axis, with the convention that the names of the two axes and the coordinates correspond (e.g., x-axis and x-coordinate, y-axis and y-coordinate).
Represent real world and mathematical problems by graphing points in the first quadrant of the coordinate plane, and interpret coordinate values of points in the context of the situation.
Find the area of right triangles, other triangles, special quadrilaterals, and polygons by composing into rectangles or decomposing into triangles and other shapes; apply these techniques in the context of solving real-world and mathematical problems.
Find the volume of a right rectangular prism with fractional edge lengths by packing it with unit cubes of the appropriate unit fraction edge lengths, and show that the volume is the same as would be found by multiplying the edge lengths of the prism. Apply the formulas V = l w h and V = b h to find volumes of right rectangular prisms with fractional edge lengths in the context of solving real-world and mathematical problems.
Draw polygons in the coordinate plane given coordinates for the vertices; use coordinates to find the length of a side joining points with the same first coordinate or the same second coordinate. Apply these techniques in the context of solving real-world and mathematical problems.
Represent three-dimensional figures using nets made up of rectangles and triangles, and use the nets to find the surface area of these figures. Apply these techniques in the context of solving real-world and mathematical problems.
Solve problems involving scale drawings of geometric figures, including computing actual lengths and areas from a scale drawing and reproducing a scale drawing at a different scale.
Draw (freehand, with ruler and protractor, and with technology) geometric shapes with given conditions. Focus on constructing triangles from three measures of angles or sides, noticing when the conditions determine a unique triangle, more than one triangle, or no triangle.
Describe the two-dimensional figures that result from slicing three- dimensional figures, as in plane sections of right rectangular prisms and right rectangular pyramids.
Know the formulas for the area and circumference of a circle and use them to solve problems; give an informal derivation of the relationship between the circumference and area of a circle.
Use facts about supplementary, complementary, vertical, and adjacent angles in a multi-step problem to write and solve simple equations for an unknown angle in a figure.
Solve real-world and mathematical problems involving area, volume and surface area of two- and three-dimensional objects composed of triangles, quadrilaterals, polygons, cubes, and right prisms.
Know the formulas for the volumes of cones, cylinders, and spheres and use them to solve real-world and mathematical problems.
Explain a proof of the Pythagorean Theorem and its converse.
Apply the Pythagorean Theorem to determine unknown side lengths in right triangles in real-world and mathematical problems in two and three dimensions.
Apply the Pythagorean Theorem to find the distance between two points in a coordinate system.
Verify experimentally the properties of rotations, reflections, and translations:
Lines are taken to lines, and line segments to line segments of the same length.
Angles are taken to angles of the same measure.
Parallel lines are taken to parallel lines.
Understand that a two-dimensional figure is congruent to another if the second can be obtained from the first by a sequence of rotations, reflections, and translations; given two congruent figures, describe a sequence that exhibits the congruence between them.
Describe the effect of dilations, translations, rotations, and reflections on two-dimensional figures using coordinates.
Understand that a two-dimensional figure is similar to another if the second can be obtained from the first by a sequence of rotations, reflections, translations, and dilations; given two similar two- dimensional figures, describe a sequence that exhibits the similarity between them.
Use informal arguments to establish facts about the angle sum and exterior angle of triangles, about the angles created when parallel lines are cut by a transversal, and the angle-angle criterion for similarity of triangles. For example, arrange three copies of the same triangle so that the sum of the three angles appears to form a line, and give an argument in terms of transversals why this is so.
Analyze and compare two- and three-dimensional shapes, in different sizes and orientations, using informal language to describe their similarities, differences, parts (e.g., number of sides and vertices/“corners”) and other attributes (e.g., having sides of equal length).
Model shapes in the world by building shapes from components (e.g., sticks and clay balls) and drawing shapes.
Compose simple shapes to form larger shapes. For example, “Can you join these two triangles with full sides touching to make a rectangle?”
Describe objects in the environment using names of shapes, and describe the relative positions of these objects using terms such as above, below, beside, in front of, behind, and next to.
Correctly name shapes regardless of their orientations or overall size.
Identify shapes as two-dimensional (lying in a plane, “flat”) or three- dimensional (“solid”).
Modeling With Geometry
Use geometric shapes, their measures, and their properties to describe objects (e.g., modeling a tree trunk or a human torso as a cylinder).★
Apply concepts of density based on area and volume in modeling situations (e.g., persons per square mile, BTUs per cubic foot).★
Apply geometric methods to solve design problems (e.g., designing an object or structure to satisfy physical constraints or minimize cost; working with typographic grid systems based on ratios).★
Ratios And Proportional Relationships
Understand the concept of a ratio and use ratio language to describe a ratio relationship between two quantities. For example, “The ratio of wings to beaks in the bird house at the zoo was 2:1, because for every 2 wings there was 1 beak.” “For every vote candidate A received, candidate C received nearly three votes.”
Understand the concept of a unit rate a/b associated with a ratio a:b with b ≠ 0, and use rate language in the context of a ratio relationship. For example, “This recipe has a ratio of 3 cups of flour to 4 cups of sugar, so there is 3/4 cup of flour for each cup of sugar.” “We paid $75 for 15 hamburgers, which is a rate of $5 per hamburger.”1
Use ratio and rate reasoning to solve real-world and mathematical problems, e.g., by reasoning about tables of equivalent ratios, tape diagrams, double number line diagrams, or equations.
Make tables of equivalent ratios relating quantities with whole- number measurements, find missing values in the tables, and plot the pairs of values on the coordinate plane. Use tables to compare ratios.
Solve unit rate problems including those involving unit pricing and constant speed. For example, if it took 7 hours to mow 4 lawns, then at that rate, how many lawns could be mowed in 35 hours? At what rate were lawns being mowed?
Find a percent of a quantity as a rate per 100 (e.g., 30% of a quantity means 30/100 times the quantity); solve problems involving finding the whole, given a part and the percent.
Use ratio reasoning to convert measurement units; manipulate and transform units appropriately when multiplying or dividing quantities.
Compute unit rates associated with ratios of fractions, including ratios of lengths, areas and other quantities measured in like or different units. For example, if a person walks 1/2 mile in each 1/4 hour, compute the unit rate as the complex fraction 1/2/1/4 miles per hour, equivalently 2 miles per hour.
Recognize and represent proportional relationships between quantities.
Decide whether two quantities are in a proportional relationship, e.g., by testing for equivalent ratios in a table or graphing on a coordinate plane and observing whether the graph is a straight line through the origin.
Identify the constant of proportionality (unit rate) in tables, graphs, equations, diagrams, and verbal descriptions of proportional relationships.
Represent proportional relationships by equations. For example, if total cost t is proportional to the number n of items purchased at a constant price p, the relationship between the total cost and the number of items can be expressed as t = pn.
Explain what a point (x, y) on the graph of a proportional relationship means in terms of the situation, with special attention to the points (0, 0) and (1, r) where r is the unit rate.
Use proportional relationships to solve multistep ratio and percent problems. Examples: simple interest, tax, markups and markdowns, gratuities and commissions, fees, percent increase and decrease, percent error.