Wednesday, September 9, 2009

turtle tricks

Armed with my Barry Newell worksheet (40 shapes challenge) I introduced Turtle Art to my students today

Some interesting things from my perspective

Shape 13: the circle
The students used arc to do that one! Shock! That defeats the purpose of the original Seymour Papert logo idea of drawing a circle with only straight lines (such as forward something) are available. I had to laugh. Still, I can set that task as a separate challenge.

Shape 17: six triangle rotated around a point
One student did that using only forwards and turns. I showed him and a couple of others how it could be done using repeats, in fact a repeat inside another repeat. His solution was about 25 tiles, mine was less than 10. So the issue of elegance is one to point out here.

Shape 38: a bunch of squares rotated around the centre of a square
Every time I use this sheet I get some students saying that have done shape 38. Invariably they haven't. Instead they have done lots of repeats with sharp (reflex) angles and it ends up looking something like shape 38. What I eventually did was show them the secret of shapes 6, 7 and 38. Namely, to first draw a square using pen up and pen down so that the turtle finishes in the middle of the square. Once you have done this for one square the more complex shapes are not too hard

Here's an example showing how to do shape 7:

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