Erica from What do we do all day? has a great STEAM Christmas activity involving fractals and Christmas trees – Sierpinski Fractal Triangle: Holiday Math Art for Kids.
I am using this with a Year 4 class as an end of year STEAM challenge, to see how big a class tree we can build together. Hopefully we won’t get too many paper cuts!
Each student gets a template of the tetrahedron (available from the link above). They then trace around it on coloured paper (green for a tree) to make four tetrahedron nets on one A4 piece of paper. They cut them out, fold, sticky tape each one into a tetrahedron, and then stick four to make a fractal element. Four of those stacked together makes another fractal element, and so on…
The Fractal Foundation provides an Educator’s Guide to fractals if you want to know more about these beautiful patterns. A simple Google search on fractals in nature provides some rich images of fractals, such as ferns, sea shells, succulent plants, trees and snowflakes.