Overview on Fractals Appropriate for Kids

Today we are featuring a book from last year that is still a gem, Mysterious Patterns: Finding Fractals in Nature by Sarah C. Campbell and photographs by Richard P. Campbell.

This gorgeous book walks the interface between picture book and middle-grade title. It starts simply, with common shapes found in the environment, giving the impression of a picture book for youngest set. Step-by-step the shapes become more complex until we are seeing the repeating patterns called fractals, which are exciting concepts geared for older students. Then readers are taken through examples of fractals in nature that range in scale from Queen Anne’s lace flowers to mountain ranges. Amazing!

In the back is an activity to make a type of fractal called a Sierpinski triangle, which is perfect to reinforce learning. The afterword by Michael Frame summarizes the life of Benoit Mandelbrot, who named fractals, as well as proposing some practical and potential uses for fractals.

Mysterious Patterns: Finding Fractals in Nature is a great introduction to fractals appropriate for kids. It is sure to inspire students, particularly reluctant ones, to investigate math in greater depth.

For the original review, see Wrapped in Foil blog.

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