Gecko Tessellations: Goals and Declarations Display

For Middle Level

Once students have written their assets and some goals for the year, we guide them through a creative process to display those goals in a way that is aesthetically pleasing. Here are directions and pattern for creating a display using gecko tessellations.

1. Using several colors of 8 1/2 x 11 cardstock, copy a gecko tessellation pattern (see Gecko Tessellation Template). Each student will need only one gecko.

2. Students carefully cut out and tape together one gecko each. (If they haven't yet used scissors, tape, or markers in the classroom, proactively care for these supplies by first doing a quick Exploratory Modeling lesson.)

3. Students print their names in large, neat letters in the middle of the gecko's body.

4. They write words that describe their personal assets on the gecko's head, and goals on its forelegs, hind legs, and tail.

5. They decorate the remaining blank spaces on their geckos in a tasteful way.

6. Finally, on a large sheet of black bulletin-board paper, students arrange their geckos together to create a tessellation. (Black tends to make the colorful geckos "pop" off the surface of the paper better than other colors.)

The effect is achieved by carefully gluing or taping the geckos together so that arms, legs, heads, and tails fit together tightly. It's best to begin by affixing a gecko in the middle of the large sheet, and then adding other geckos around the first one, working from the inside to the outside edge of the paper.