How to plan a Geometry focus for an enquiry of learning

Nature’s Geometry: snowflake designs

Activities that allow students to explore the Geometry of the natural world provide an engaging way into learning

The Geometry we see in Nature provides us with a new way of looking at and learning about the world. When we see the world through the lens of geometry, we understand things from a wholly different perspective. We realise that there is a pattern to life that can be seen on a micro and a macro scale in the world around us and in the patterns that exist in us. This helps us to understand that we are not separate from the natural world; rather, we are Nature.

A fundamental shift in thinking is necessary, here, as one of the greatest drivers of unsustainable practices and ways of living, is the view that we are somehow disconnected from Nature. The more we develop our understanding of the patterns and geometry of Nature and how they work, the more we appreciate the world from a place of connection. This is exactly what we need to do if we are to live in more connected and sustainable ways.

The intention in this planning, then, is to find opportunities throughout each enquiry to learn the geometry of Nature and to look at how this geometry has been replicated in artistic and architectural forms. Alongside the Geometry, there should be regular opportunities to sketch and to develop good close observational skills.

Taking as an example an enquiry of learning about bees, we can see how the geometry focus each week (shown in brackets) acts as a way into the learning.

Year 2 Why are bees so brilliant?

  • WEEK 1 How do bees work together in a hive? (What are the stages of a bee life cycle?)
  • WEEK 2 What do bees need to stay healthy? (What are the different parts of a bee’s body called?)
  • WEEK 3 What makes some flowers bee-friendly? (How can I draw a flower using a circle template?)
  • WEEK 4 Why do flowering plants need bees? (How can I draw a six-petalled flower using a compass?)
  • WEEK 5 What harms bees? (How can we create hexagons to make honeycomb?)
  • WEEK 6 What can we do to protect bees? (What will make my hexagonal bee book look amazing?)

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