Wheel of Theodorus Art Project Ideas

Instructor: Christopher Muscato

Chris has a master's degree in history and teaches at the University of Northern Colorado.

Geometry can be a lot of fun when students are given the freedom to express their creativity. These art projects can help you teach students about geometry using the wheel of Theodorus.

The Wheel of Theodorus

The wheel (or spiral) of Theodorus is a design in which right triangles are arranged to create a spiral. Each triangle forms one side of the next triangle, so impacts its size and dimensions. This can be a fun way to get students involved in geometry. These project ideas do not teach students the equations or calculations necessary to complete the wheel of Theodorus (it assumes that students have been taught this skill) but does provide several ways to turn this into a fun art project.

Wheel of Theodorus Art Projects

Paint an Animal

Students will start by creating the wheel of Theodorus, then think about ways they could use this as part of a design for an animal. Many students will find that the pattern resembles the shells of turtles or crustaceans, but others may see the fanning feathers of a bird or a curly tail. Whatever students decide, they will paint an image of an animal incorporating this design. The background of the painting should establish the setting/habitat for this animal, and students should strive to build this setting using other geometric shapes and patterns. When students are done, have them display their artwork around the classroom.

  • Materials: Ruler/straight edge, pencils, calculators, canvas/paper, paintbrushes, paints, other math or art supplies as desired

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