PAPER CUT METHOD
This tessellation lesson is easy and foolproof.
This particular tessellation tutorial is also a landmark: our first tessellation lesson sent to us by a guest artist, years ago. It came to us from 15-year-old Guest Artist Rachael G*. We salute Rachael's effort and desire to help others.
Art and Math teacher Jan Miller has this to add, based on using Rachael's tutorial in her classroom:
"The tessellation method from your site which I tried to use with my 3rd graders was Rachel's 'Papercut Method' but I had a lot of trouble getting it to work. I finally added some little refinements which make it work nearly every time. Step #1 and #3 are to get the tessera to tessellate. Step #2 is to help kids cut accurately. Here are those modifications:
This seems to work nearly every time. The kids really enjoy knowing that someone closer to their own age invented this method."
See how 4th grade art teacher Karen Weber's class made their own tessellations with this lesson. Her class's do-it-yourself tessellation art gallery shows the final tessellation art AND the handmade patterns that the kids made while producing the art.
*UPDATE: July, 2011.
For those of you interested in looking at that earlier make-it-yourself tessellation lesson, you can find it on page 179 in the book "Learn to Draw Step-By-Step" by Bruce Robertson. The book was published in 1986 by Macdonald publishing house. It's 192 pages, a little less than 30cm x 30cm, and weighs about 0.75 kilograms. Its ISBN-10 number is 0356107892, and its ISBN-13 listing is 978-0356107899. As of 2010, the book is out of print but many used copies are available on Amazon.com for about US$2 plus shipping. I'm buying a copy now; I'll see page 179 when it reaches me in a few months' time.