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Worldwide Locations

Geometry and Islam

Religious Beliefs Made Visual

Photo courtesy flickr/seier+seier+seier

Photo courtesy flickr/seier+seier+seier

Religious Beliefs Made Visual
A short student activity that introduces why patterns are used in Islamic books, textiles and architecture and how to use a compass and a ruler to create two common patterns.

Students will

  • Understand the significance of geometric patterns in the Muslim world
  • Replicate common patterns that adorn architecture, texts and textiles
  • Practice using a compass and straight edge

  1. Read and summarize "Islamic Belief Made Visual" essay for students.
  2. Give each student a piece of paper or poster board, compass, straight edge and copies of the handouts Construction of an Islamic Pattern parts one and two.
  3. Through demonstration and/or one-on-one work, help students replicate common geometric designs seen throughout the Muslim world.

For elementary school students: color the patterns to bring out geometric shapes. You may want to paper a bulletin board or wall with student artwork.

Author: Jane Norman.