Beacon Lesson Plan Library

Got Escher? (Tessellation)

Euconfra Corbit


Students create Escher-like tessellations.


Understands geometric concepts such as perpendicularity, parallelism, tangency, congruency, similarity, reflections, symmetry, and transformations including flips, slides, turns, enlargements, and fractals.


-Examples of Maurits Cornelis Escherís art
-Software for creating tessellations (See Preparations)
-Multimedia projector
-3Ē x 5Ē index cards (4 per student)
-Geometry tools (ruler, compass, and protractor) for each student
-Scissors for each student
-Transparency tape for each student
-Color markers/pencils for each student
-14Ē x 22Ē poster board for each student
-Got Escher? (Tessellation) worksheet (See Associated File)
-Rubric for Got Escher? (See Associated File)


1. Gather examples of M.C. Escherís art.
2. Prepare history of M.C. Escher and his art. (See Weblinks)
3. Know how Escherís art is related to geometry. (See Weblinks)
4. Find and know how to use tessellation software. Some examples include: The Geometerís Sketchpad, Key Curriculum Press, CA, 2001 and TesselMania! Deluxe, The Learning Co., MA, 1995.
If these products are not available in your school or county they can be ordered from SUNLINK. To get items for your Florida public school or classroom, simply visit this Weblink ( )and fill out the form and SUNLINK will mail you the items free of charge. (Sorry, these are only available to Florida public schools.) Interlibrary loan supplies will only be sent to the media specialist at SUNLINK schools. If your Florida public school is not yet a SUNLINK school, call 1-800-226-0085 for information and assistance.
5. Download Got Escher? (Tessellation) worksheet and Rubric for Got Escher? from the associated file and make a copy for each student. In addition, make needed teacher copies of the rubric.


This lesson addresses congruency, reflections, symmetry, rotation, and transformations including flips, slides, and turns.

Prior knowledge: Students should be familiar with congruency, reflection, symmetry, rotation, and translation; tessellation with regular polygons.

1. Orally review and give examples of congruency, reflection, symmetry, rotation, and translation.

2. Show examples of M.C. Escherís art. Give brief history about M.C. Escher and his art. (See Weblinks)

3. Ask students if they recognize any geometric concepts in Escherís art. Tell students they can create tessellation designs like Escher by starting with regular polygons that tessellate. Discuss the relationship between Escherís art and geometry.

4. Demonstrate changing a regular polygon to an Escher-like tessellation tile using tessellation software. Reinforce terminology such as congruency, reflection, symmetry, rotation, and translation.

5. Engage students meaningfully: Pass out Got Escher? (Tesssellation) worksheet, Rubric for Got Escher?, and student materials. (See Materials and Associated File) Students read and follow directions on handout which provides steps for creating a tessellation tile and translating the tile. Circulate to ensure that students follow directions.

6. Provide practice: Students construct regular polygons that tessellate using geometry tools. Students make several tessellation tiles from regular polygons using translation, rotation, reflection, and/or glide reflection (rotation and reflection combined). Students will choose one tile to decorate and make a tessellation on poster board. (See Got Escher? (Tessellation) worksheet in Associated File)

7. Studentsí work is formatively assessed using the Rubric for Got Escher?. (See Associated File)

8. Display studentsí work of Escher-like tessellation design on classroom walls, and if possible, on schoolís Website.


Each student creates an original tessellation that is assessed using the Rubric for Got Escher?. (See Associated File)

Web Links

Web supplement for Got Escher? (Tessellation) Click on the posters for sale to view various forms and examples.
World of Escher

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