Seeing Mathematics in Nature

Seeing Mathematics in Nature

Lesson 5 of 5 in this unit

  • Primary
  • Year 5 - 6
  • Humanities and Social Sciences
  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Histories and Cultures
  • Technology
  • Design and Technologies
  • Social
  • Indigenous Education
  • ...

Lesson summary

How many leaves does a pineapple have? What about the number of legs an insect has? Maths in reflected in the speed of water flowing in a creek or hearing a bird song in the bush. Indigenous mathematician, Dr Chris Matthews sees nature differently. In this lesson, students discover that maths is reflected everywhere in nature; they undertake pattern counting to find fibonacci spiral patterns in plants, seeds and more.

Learning intentions:

Students will...

  • learn about Dr Chris Matthews and his work and views on mathematics 
  • explore the ways that nature prompts mathematical thinking.

Success criteria:

Students can...

  • Explain what Dr Chris Matthew’s work and view on mathematics is 
  • Find patterns in nature and talk about them in mathematical ways
  • Communicate findings using digital tools.

Lesson guides and printables

Student Worksheet
Teacher Content Info
Lesson Plan

Lesson details

Curriculum mapping

Australian curriculum (v9.0) content descriptions:

Design and Technologies:

Students learn to:

  • generate, iterate and communicate design ideas, decisions and processes using technical terms and graphical representation techniques, including using digital tools (AC9TDE6P02).

General capabilities: Digital Literacy

Syllabus outcomes: ST3-2DP-T, ST3-3DP-T

Cross-curriculum priority: SustainabilityAboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Histories and Cultures

Relevant parts of Year 5 and 6 achievement standards: Design Technology
Students share and communicate ideas or content to an audience using technical terms, graphical representation techniques and appropriate digital tools. They select technologies and techniques to safely produce designed or digital solutions.

Resources required

  • A device capable of creating audio-visual recordings, such as a tablet or camera
  • Digital resources: Explain Everything app (optional – check school and state/territory’s policies on device use)
  • Magnifying glasses (optional)
  • Student worksheet
  • Writing materials.

Skills

This lesson is designed to build students’ competencies in the following skills:

  • curiosity
  • digital literacy
  • cultural understanding
  • intercultural understanding
  • communication

Additional Info

This is a standalone lesson within the Bridging the Digital Divide Unit. For more practical activities that enhance the digital literacy of primary school students and to learn more about other First Nations Australian Leaders in Digital Technology, head to the rest of the Unit!

Level of teacher scaffolding: This activity is hands-on and requires a level of teacher involvement in the lesson as the students investigate maths in nature.

Cool Australia would like to thank and acknowledge the support of the _auDA Foundation _enabling us to create these lessons.

Related professional learning

Visualise Data in the Secondary Classroom

Quick Summary:

Infographics have grown in popularity because they communicate information quickly and clearly. These visual tools represent information, data or knowledge. In this hands-on course, you will build your ability to use infographics as a learning tool in your curriculum. 

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