Nature’s Code: The Fibonacci Sequence

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Lesson Overview

The Fibonacci Sequence, also known as the Golden Ratio, is a mathematical numeric sequence seen throughout nature鈥攆rom the growth pattern of the smallest seed to the path of breaking waves, from the shell of the snail to the swirling shape of the titan galaxies. 

Many artists and architects hold that the Golden Ratio makes the most beautiful. and visually pleasing shape. The grandest feats of engineering and construction, and often the most beautiful, reflect the proportions of the Fibonacci Sequence. It has been called 鈥渘ature鈥檚 code.鈥 

In this lesson, students will explore examples of the Fibonacci Sequence in nature and reflect on what this mysterious code reveals to us about our loving Creator.

Lesson Materials

Activity Instructions

  1. Provide your students with grid paper and have them work in pairs or trios to contemplate the images on Wonders of Nature: Nature鈥檚 Code, and then answer the discussion questions. To help students visualize the drawing instructions for question 4, you can show them the image found at SophiaOnline.org/FibonacciSequence.
  2. When they have finished, call on groups to share about their discussions. Allow the conversation to go in unexpected places, while encouraging students to consider why patterns such as the Fibonacci Sequence appear throughout the natural world, and why we find them beautiful.
  3. Together, reflect on the patterns in each of the images and consider how they bear witness to God.
  4. Finally, show the short video found at SophiaOnline.org/NatureCode for a brief explanation of the Fibonacci Sequence. You may wish to show the video with a math or science teacher present to answer follow-up questions.

Answer Key

  1. A wave, a snail, a galaxy, a seashell, and a hurricane. They all share a spiral pattern. Accept additional reasoned answers.
  2. Accept reasoned answers which may include the pattern on pinecones, certain flowers, fruits, and vegetables, creatures, and so forth.
  3. 0, 1, 1, 2, 3, 5, 8, 13, 21, 34, 55, 89,144,233,377,610,987, 1597, 2584, 4181, 6765, 10946, 17711, 28657, 46368, 75025, 121393, 196418, 317811, 514229, etc...
  4. Student drawings should match the image found at SophiaOnline.org/FibonacciSequence.
  5. It reveals God鈥檚 care and precision in His creative work, His perfection, and the beauty and intelligence of His order in creating and sustaining life. Accept additional reasoned answers.
  6. Answers will most likely vary. Take a class survey to see if a majority of students answered 鈥渢he golden rectangle鈥 versus the other shapes.

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