Constructing The Universe Activity Books

 Michael S. Schneider
(M.Ed. Mathematics)

Create and explore the beautiful patterns
shared by Mathematics, Nature and Art


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Click on any book cover to see its Table Of Contents


General Description of the series:

This six-volume Activity Book set is a companion to the author's book A Beginner's Guide To Constructing The Universe (HarperPerennial paperback 1995, now in its 32nd printing) which explores the first ten numbers and shapes as they appear in nature, art and science. Many people have said that they've enjoyed doing the book's geometric constructions and want more. The workbooks have a tape-binding so that they can be easily folded back to do the constructions upon, and pages are in black and white (actually, grayscale). The chapters in the Activity Books Volumes 1 and 2 are coordinated with the chapters in A Beginner's Guide and in the DVD. I suggest you read each chapter in A Beginner's Guide and watch those numbered sections of the DVD, then work with your compass in the corresponding chapter in the Activity Books. The first two Activity Books give the reader abundant hands-on experience with the geometric constructions for the numbers one through twelve, from the Circle and Vesica Piscis (Mandorla or Almond) through the regular polygons, Triangle to Dodecagon (12-corners). It's a fun and natural way to educate yourself and others about geometry, nature and art. Volumes 3 through 5 guide you to explore more geometry in nature and great worldwide art. Volume 6 allows you to explore the designs of nature, technology and art without using a geometric compass!


Each chapter in Volume 1 and Volume 2 examines one number from 1 to 12 and provides:

* Step-by-step instructions with pictures for constructing each of the regular polygons and their polygram stars.
* Geometric patterns to replicate based on each construction.
* Images of nature on which to do these constructions to see how they align with the geometric patterns.
* Images of worldwide art on which to do these constructions to see how geometry was intentionally applied to their designs. It's quite remarkable to see how the arts, crafts and architecture from different cultures shares the same timeless geometric plans.
* Opportunities for the reader to design their own patterns of geometry, nature and art.
* Curious facts about each shape, word lore, etc.
* And related activities which amplify the ideas of each construction, including Paper Folding and a Flip Movie!

Volume 3 explores the famous Fibonacci Numbers and the Golden Mean through activities with numbers (as piles of beans) and a geometric compass. A hands-on approach makes it easy to see the interesting patterns the Fibonacci numbers form These are the same patterns which which show up in the living, growing patterns of nature. This Activity Book is filled with original activities for exploring the Fibonacci numbers in nature, especially in familiar plants, fruits and vegetables, and projects including paperfolding and weaving. And if you're interested in great art, dozens of examples from around the world are here for you to explore and discover their secret geometric schemes based on the wonderful Golden Mean.

Volume 4 teaches the skills for creating and exploring the famous Root Rectangles in mathematics through many examples of worldwide art and architecture. Each of the Root Rectangles begins with a square and grows by the expansive power of diagonals. You'll be astonished at all the places that Root Rectangles appear, from diplomas to cathedrals! Explore great art and learn how to use these compelling rectangles in your own creative designs.

Volume 5 is called Constructing The Cosmological Circle: Symbol and Instrument for Universal Harmony. The Cosmological Circle is a geometric diagram which appears in part and whole in the art, crafts, architecture, statecraft ("cosmologically ordered societies"), mythology, religion and wisdom literature throughout the ancient world. This book provides the reader with a background in its geometry, symbolism and appearances of this diagram, leading to illustrated step-by-step instructions for doing this geometric construction with a compass and straightedge. This book is based on the work of John Michell who has been investigating this diagram for over 35 years, and will introduce "lovers of wisdom" to his books on the subject, particularly "Dimensions of Paradise".

Volume 6 is called Secret Windows In Nature, Art and Technology. It allows readers to explore the wonderful world of geometric design in nature and human affairs without using a geometric compass. Instead, the book comes with a plastic sheet of six geometric constructions for looking through at everything from flowers and hubcaps to the worlds greatest art. Readers are encouraged to used them not only with the many examples in the book, but at home, in the neighborhood and art museums. Included are patterns for the reader to design their "own world" of objects, creatures and forms using these same patterns appearing in throughout nature and human creations.

These Activity Books are very accessible and are perfect for beginners, particularly young people, who will get started doing powerful geometric constructions and see how a geometric language appears throughout The Book Of Nature and worldwide art. People of more advanced interests will see exactly how geometric composition has been applied over the centuries to the arts, crafts and architecture of every culture as a symbolic language. Artists, designers and other creative readers will be able to apply what they learn from ancient masters to their own works.

They're ideal for Home Schools and for enriching any mathematics class, and especially for anyone who wishes to heal their "math anxiety" and instead be inspired by mathematics. The activities proceed at each reader's own pace. Volumes 1-4 are single-sided and printed on opaque paper to enjoy doing the constructions upon.


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Thank You and Enjoy this new/timeless approach to Geometry!



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© 2014 Michael S. Schneider