PATTERNS IN NATURE We are going to learn about the patterns we can find in nature. Who knows what a pattern is? [Give students a moment to answer. If they give an example let them know that they are on the right track.] A pattern is two or more items place in a specific order that then repeat exactly. Nature gives us five basic patterns. Most everything we find will be seen in one or a combination of these. They are: SPIRALING--can be seen in the shell of a snail. The spiral begins as a tight center and curve around itself as it gradually expands. STACKING--can be seen in a honeycomb. Stacking can be thought of as a pile or cluster with one small piece touching lots of similar pieces all around it. BRANCHING OR FANNING--like the name indicates, can seen in the branches of a tree or the fan of a feather. The key is that a branch or fan pattern starts in on spot and moves outward as it expands. MEANDERING--can be see in waves coming onto a shore or the small ripples made when the wind blows sand in the desert. It also can be seen in the flow of a river or the trail left behind when a snake slithers through the dirt. A meandering pattern is not always uniform. EXPLODING--can be seen in a daisy, a snowflake or a dandelion gone to seed. The exploding pattern occurs when all the parts move away from the center. Look at the five examples on your handout. Can you trace each pattern with your finger? Which drawing is the most difficult to trace? Why is that? (Students will probably pick the exploding or branching/fanning patterns because they go off in different directions and spread out quickly). Try to draw the pattern (not the image) in the box next to the example found in nature. Are these patterns geometric or organic? Here's a clue: they are not easily measured. YOUR DRAWING FIRST THINGS FIRST: Write your name on your paper and flip it over. Each student has a piece of paper that was folded into six relatively even sections. Pick three of the patters you like the best. Then in each section draw one of the three patterns you have picked. You can draw that pattern as many times as you want within the section. You can make your pattern any color you want or change colors. And, you can change the size of the pattern if you want. You will need to repeat each of your patterns in order to fill all six sections. If you put a pattern in section 1 and want to repeat it in section 5 you do not have to draw it exactly the same way that you did the first time nor do you have to use the exact same color or colors. It is okay if you do but you don't have to. Last thing, as you decide where to place your patterns remember the ideas we work on in our directed drawings--think about balance, variety, and unity. How are you going to make the individual sections look like they belong together? How are you going to make your drawing look balanced? And, what are you, the artist, going to do to make your drawing interesting to the viewer, the rest of your class? Okay, begin!