Pine Cone Fibonacci Fish... or my loss is your gain

I am upright enough that we were able to do the craft we had scheduled this morning. I try to leave Fridays for bigger arts and crafts projects that we wouldn't be able to do in the shorter amount of time we have left after our regular schoolwork, Monday through Thursday. I thought that for our first Friday craft, I would pick something fairly easy, colorful, and fun. When I found the instructions for Koinobori Pine Cones, I thought it would make a great first craft.

Koinobori are Japanese carp fish kites. We had actually done these a few years ago with kite blanks I had ordered. (I can't find the post about it right now. I'll have to go back and add it later.) I liked that everyone knew what I was talking about. This craft used pine cones, which we had in abundance outside, and paint. I liked that it used things I already had on hand as well. So after looking at some pictures, I set out the paints and let them have at it.

I decided I was well enough to sit and paint, so decided to make one as well. This was when I realized that totally lost opportunity that I had in front of me, and I inwardly kicked myself.

Fibonacci and the Fibonacci sequence are something we are going to spend a bit of time learning about later in the year. It happens to be something that has a lot of grade school resources. We have an art project scheduled for it, but it is not anything earth shattering. This craft we did just for fun would have been much better put to use as a Fibonacci craft.

Here's what I mean. The Fibonacci sequence, 1, 2, 3, 5, 8, 13, 21, etc., is created by adding the last two numbers in the sequence to obtain the next number. It is also the number sequence that expresses the spiral shape found in many objects in nature... shells, flowers, and pine cones. As I was painting mine, I realized I could have had each child use paint to trace the spirals in the pine cones as part of their decorating.

Front view of his face

See how it spirals in both directions? The colors show the spirals going to the left, the outline of the scales show the spiral going to the right.

Y. saw me painting mine, and caught on to what I was doing. If I was doing this for a Fibonacci project, I would have had her add highlights to show the spirals going the opposite direction as well.

But, it's OK. Everyone had fun, it was a craft with no right way to do it to make a decent fish, and R. could also do it herself. 

Some of the other completed fish. Now we just need to wait until it is dry outside to collect short sticks to glue on them, so they can become "kites".


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