Celebrate Fibonacci Day With These 5 Interesting Activities
We think that math is magical here at Imagine Learning, and few things help illustrate just how magical it is better than the Fibonacci numbers. These numbers were named after the Italian mathematician who discovered them, Leonardo of Pisa (later known as Fibonacci).
Together, the Fibonacci numbers form a sequence called the Fibonacci sequence.
The Fibonacci sequence is found quite frequently in mathematics and even in nature, creating a startlingly beautiful pattern that unites the often abstract concepts of math with the natural world.
The Fibonacci Sequence
So, what is the Fibonacci sequence?
The Fibonacci sequence begins like this:
1, 1, 2, 3, 5, 8, 13, 21, 34, 55, 89, 144…
The sequence follows a fairly simple pattern: every two numbers, when added together, equal the following number.
For example: 1+1=2, 1+2=3, 2+3=5 and so on for as long as you’d like to take it.
While this seems fairly simple, once you begin to see the sequence in things such as the pattern of a pinecone or the petals on a daisy, it starts to seem downright incredible!
The Fibonacci Numbers and the Golden Spiral
The Fibonacci numbers are closely related to the Golden ratio and the Golden spiral, the latter of which explains the sequence in a shape form that is often found in nature.
The Golden spiral is a spiral with a growth factor of phi, which means that the spiral grows further from the origin point by a factor of phi with each quarter turn.
Why Do We Celebrate Fibonacci Day On November 23?
We celebrate Fibonacci Day on November 23 because when written out numerically, the date reads the first four digits of the Fibonacci sequence. No matter which day of the week the date falls on, the MM/DD format always reads as 11/23.
Activities to Celebrate Fibonacci Day
Celebrate as Fibonacci did.
Fibonacci discovered the sequence by studying the growth of rabbit populations. He set out to study how many rabbits would exist in a population after one year if: (a) two breeding-age rabbits were placed in a field, (b) the rabbits always mate after one month so that they can produce another pair after the second month, and (c) the rabbits never die. In setting out to find out how large the population would be after one year, Fibonacci discovered the Fibonacci sequence. You can read more about this theory here.
- Plan a Fibonacci feast.
Did you know that the Fibonacci sequence occurs very frequently in common fruits and vegetables? It’s true—and when prepared together, these foods make for a fun and educational meal! Prepare things like artichokes, pineapple, Romanesco and pomegranate to show children how the Fibonacci sequence occurs in nature.
- Take a Fibonacci-inspired nature walk.
Depending on where you live, you may be able to easily discover Fibonacci sequence in flowers, trees, and much more. Take children on a nature walk and encourage them to inspect things like pinecones, ferns, daisies, sunflowers, and snails, since all of these things are made up of Fibonacci numbers.
- Find Fibonacci numbers on the body.
The Fibonacci sequence occurs frequently in the human body, and this can be a fun way to show the numbers in action. Some ideas: The bones in a human finger, the spiral in a human ear, and the Golden Ratio proportions of the human eye.
- Seek out the Fibonacci sequence in famous works of art.
Many famous works of art employ the golden spiral or golden rectangles (we’re guessing because this soothing pattern is so enjoyable to the human eye!) Celebrate Fibonacci Day by admiring famous Fibonacci sequence art works like “The Great Wave” by Katsushika Hokusai or many of Mondrian’s square-filled paintings. While these pieces weren’t intentionally created for this purpose, they show beautiful examples of the sequence in action!
Want to show your students just how fascinating math can be? Whether they’re just getting started with topics like the Fibonacci numbers or they’re old enough to understand and apply complex math concepts, Imagine Math can help all students to achieve their learning goals. Click here to find out more about our Imagine Math product suite!