Mobius Strip Lesson Plan

Instructor: Suzanne Rose

Suzanne has taught all levels PK-graduate school and has a PhD in Instructional Systems Design. She currently teachers literacy courses to preservice and inservice teachers.

Through exploration of Mobius strips, this lesson plan involves students discussing surfaces and edges of objects as well as verifying predictions about observations. Lesson plan extensions explore mathematics in art.

Learning Objectives

As a result of this lesson, students will be able to do the following:

  • create Mobius strips
  • identify uses of Mobius strips in real life
  • predict patterns based on Mobius strips and verify predictions
  • recognize mathematics concepts in art (extensions)

Length

45-60 minutes

Curriculum Standards

CCSS.Math.Content.6.G.A

Solve real-world and mathematical problems involving area, surface area, and volume.

Materials Needed

  • piece of paper about 12 inches wide and about 24 inches long
  • masking tape
  • scissors
  • SmartBoard or projector to display the lesson
  • Mobius Strip: Definition, Explanation & Uses quiz handout, one for each student
  • Materials for activities:
    • 4, 6 x 24 inch pieces of paper for each student
    • scissors for each student
    • pencil, marker or crayon for each student
    • one piece of masking tape for each student

Vocabulary

Mobius strip

Instructions

  • Hold up the 12 x 24 inch paper so that the students can see it. Ask them 'How many sides does this paper have?' (2) 'How many edges does it have? (4)
  • In front of the students, cut the paper in half, to make 2 pieces that are 6 inches wide and 24 inches long.
  • Form one strip into a loop and tape it with the masking tape so it stays in a loop. Ask the students how many sides the paper has now. Does it still have two sides? How many edges? Use a crayon to draw a line around the outside of the strip and a different color crayon to draw a line around the inside of the strip so they can see there are two sides.
  • Now, make a loop with the second strip, putting a twist in it first before you tape the ends together, to make a Mobius strip.
  • Ask the students how many sides this loop will have. Use a crayon to draw a line around the strip, and they will see that you can go the whole way around and back where you started with the same color crayon--the strip now has only one side! Ask the students how many edges it has. Trace around the edge with your finger so they can see that it has only one edge.
  • Tell them this is called a 'Mobius strip,' named after the German mathematician, August Ferdinand Mobius, who lived from 1790-1868.
  • Display the lesson Mobius Strip: Definition, Explanation & Uses.
  • Read and discuss the lesson with the students.
  • Give each student the Mobius Strip: Definition, Explanation & Uses Quiz handout to check for understanding prior to the activity.

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