Today I brought in a new book to share with the children about spirals in nature. I often get compliments on my Fibonacci sequence earrings from the children and I’d also noticed some of the kids drawing spirals lately. So I found a book that I was excited to explore with them that is about just that. It doesn’t dive deeply into the golden ratio mathematics, but instead points out many spiraling shapes in nature through beautiful illustrations.
We started out by looking at a spiral shape and I asked the children what shape it was. SH said, “a swirl!”, VH said, “a spiral!”, LG said, “a snail shell”, ST said, “a dino tail”, “a worm”, AD said, NC said,”a chameleon tongue and tail spiral and reach out too”. Before we even looked at the book the children were already thinking of spirals in nature just by looking at the shape. The book confirmed some of their ideas- with a snail shell right on the cover, curling monkey tails wrapping around branches, and spirals curling tight and unfolding to reach. They were so excited for the book, it was hard to read it! So many beautiful illustrations and captivated connections made for a busy story time.
The children also used their bodies to try to curl and unfold their arms, and pretend to be a hedgehog- curling in for protection. We drew spirals in the air- starting so small and getting bigger and bigger and bigger with every rotation. Next I handed everyone a piece of pipe cleaner wire to make a small spiral shape from. We pinched it in our fingers and wrapped it around and around.
Outside we hunted for spiral shapes and hope to see more in the spring when the ferns and other plants and creatures start to uncurl. Right now the world around us is snuggling up in cozy places hard to find. We did see some leaves curling into spiral shapes and vines growing on the fence that have tightly wrapped tendrils. The children also took clipboards out to draw their own spirals.
Many of the children started with a spiral and then kept the flow going over and over on the page. We are going to keep the flow going with spirals in the classroom and see where it takes us next! Let us know if you find any spirals with your child at home!