Tetrahedron Fractivity using Marshmallows and Toothpicks

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4 MB|34 pages
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Students from many age ranges will be given an opportunity to build their very own fractal tetrahedron! Could a classroom build a tetrahedron big enough to actually walk into it? Find out using this step-by-step activity packet. Pictures are included for each step as well for visual learners. The pages are set up so that teachers may display them on a projector if they decide to do this as a whole class activity or they may print them as packets at math centers or cooperative groups. As an added bonus, the three worksheet activities will help students make geometric connections as they build and bring meaning behind their marshmallow and toothpick creations.

Some of the vocabulary that is included is as follows:

* equilateral triangles
* fractal
* tetrahedron
* edges
* faces
* vertices
* perimeter
* octahedron

What would happen if you took four large tetrahedra and connected them as a class? Your result would end up being "giant-sized"! Extension problems are included, such as "How could you find the number of vertices for any stage number? Use words or symbols to describe the pattern." or "Is there a shorter way to count the toothpicks? Explain."

Building fractal tetrahedra is more than building a geometric three-dimensional figure using marshmallows and toothpicks. This activity will build spatial awareness and reasoning, develop geometric connections, and bring your students together as a small community within your very own classroom to talk about math and what strategies they can use through each step in order to get to the end result.

As Buzz Lightyear says, "To infinity... and BEYOND!" Let the patterns and imagination begin!

Happy Building,
Dimitra

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34 pages
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