Geometry: Tiling the Plaza

Source Institutions

Source Institutions

Add to list Go to activity
Activity link broken? See if it's at the internet archive
In this math lesson, learners arrange pattern blocks to create tessellations and to explore geometric patterns. Learners first explore making patterns with a variety of pattern blocks. They next engage in experiments of making tile designs using only one shape by rotating that shape around a point. Finally, they are faced with the situation of entering a contest for creating the best tile design for the new plaza using these geometric shapes. Learners are placed into groups and are told to use only the blocks with equal sides and equal angles to create a patterned tile design. Each group makes a tile design and learners vote for the best design.

Quick Guide

Preparation Time:
Under 5 minutes

Learning Time:
45 to 60 minutes

Estimated Materials Cost:
free per student

Age Range:
Ages 11 - 14

Resource Types:
Activity, Lesson/Lesson Plan


Materials List (per student)

  • A set of pattern blocks
  • A clean sheet of paper


  • Mathematics
    • Algebra
      • Patterns
    • Geometry
      • Solid Geometry
  • The Nature of Technology
    • The Design Process

Informal Categories

  • Arts and Crafts


To use this activity, learners need to:

  • see
  • touch

Learning styles supported:

  • Involves teamwork and communication skills
  • Links STEM to other topics of interest such as arts and humanities
  • Involves hands-on or lab activities


This resource is part of:

Access Rights:

  • Free access



  • All rights reserved, PBS, 2012

Funding Source:

  • US Department of Education