# Spiral Investigations in Nature, Books, Art, and Math

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One of the coolest math patterns in nature is the spiral, don’t you think? Investigate spirals with your kids by observing in nature, books, art, and making your own.

## Math Spirals In Nature

You can find spirals in

• a seashell
• a spider web
• flower petals
• cauliflower florets
• pine cones
• seeds of a sunflowerÂ

## Spirals Are Fibonacci Numbers.

Fibonacci numbers are the pattern whereÂ each number is the sum of the two previous numbers.Â 1, 1, 2, 3, 5, 8, 13, 21, 34, 55, 89, 144 and on to infinity.Â The ratio between the numbers (1.618034) is called theÂ golden ratio. Spirals are Fibonacci numbers.

Learn several ways toÂ count spirals from the Museum of Mathematics.

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## Learn About Spirals With Observation

The best way for kids to learn about spirals? Find and observe.

• Nature walk
• Microscope
• Nature journal

Adapt this handout,Â Natureâ€™s Numbers from The Franklin Institute,Â for when you search for spirals.

Print out thisÂ flower spiral pageÂ from theÂ book,Â Growing Patterns, laminate, cut apart, and put together like a puzzle.

Watch aÂ video about plants and spirals.

Spirals are often found in architecture and buildings. Go on a Spiral scavenger hunt. [printable version]

Find a . . .

spiral notebook

spiral staircase

spiral artwork

Spiral Book.
Use your artist’s journal or camera and make your own spiral book.

Spiral Mobile

Hypotrochoid Art Set

DIY Pendulum Pen

Swirl By Swirl: Spirals in NatureÂ by Joyce Sidman

Growing PatternsÂ by Sarah Campbell

Math Curse by Jon Scieszka

Spiral Draw Book

top shell image:Â Â Some rights reservedÂ byÂ Scarygami

## Similar Posts

1. I had an A HA moment. I never knew what a fibonacci number was and could not figure out the pattern from Math Curse (one of my son’s favorite books). Thank you! And I never knew it related to spirals. In fact, I wasn’t able to make the connection even though it was pointed out to me.

Thanks! I feel smarter today!

2. Maria Gianferrari says:

Great post!

These are some other great picture books on Fibonacci himself, and in nature:

Blockhead: The Life of Fibonacci by Joseph D’Agnese

Wild Fibonacci by Joy N. Hulme

These are humorous:

Rabbits, Rabbits Everywhere by Ann McCallum

The Rabbit Problem by Emily Gravett

For older readers, Kate Messner’s Sugar and Ice also has Fibonacci as a theme.

~Maria

3. I never thought to teach spirals during my patterning units — very thoughtful blog post, thank you!

4. kara campbell says:

I love your blog. It has been hard to find blogs that aren’t just for the preschool set (I have an 8,5 and 3 year old). Your blog’s content is so informative, creative and inspiring. Thank you so much for all your hard work. You have truly made a significant contribution to our family.