November 23rd, is 11/23 in mm/dd format, which forms a number pattern called the fibonacci sequence. Each number in this sequence is the sum of the two numbers before it, hence the sequence is 1,1,2,3,5,8,13,21…. and so on. The next number in this sequence would be 34 , by adding the two previous numbers, 21 and 13.
Surprisingly, there are also Fibonacci numbers in nature – spirals at the bottom of pine cones, in the middle of the Sunflower ( check it out here ) , and also in the bumps of a pineapple.
I recently read my children a book on Leonardo Fibonacci ( Blockhead: The Life of Fibonacci) and wanted to do a fun activity with them to help them understand that if they look closely, they can also find Fibonacci numbers around them.
Fibonacci Sequence Activity
In this simple activity, you only need to record the number of ways you can climb a staircase.
I asked them, let’s assume if they have to climb a staircase and they can climb either 1 step or 2 steps at a time, how many different ways are there to climb each stair ?
They figured out that there was only 1 way to climb the staircase 1. Two ways to climb staircase 2 – either by climbing 1 step twice or climbing 2 steps at a time.
For climbing three stairs, there are 3 ways – by climbing 1 step at a time to reach the 3rd staircase or by climbing 1 step and then 2 steps to reach the 3rd staircase or by climbing 2 steps and then 1 step to reach 3rd staircase.
Likewise, they figured out that there are five different possibilities to climb staircase 4.
We then recorded the results in a table and I let them observe the pattern. I asked if they were seeing a numerical pattern ? And if they can figure out how many different ways are there to climb staircase 5, 6 and so on. They wrote all the various ways in which they could climb staircase 5 and discovered that there were 8 different possibilities. 13 different ways to climb staircase 6 and so on.
Voila! They had figured out that the numbers were forming a Fibonacci sequence. And, surprised as how they never thought of looking for patterns while climbing stairs.
The magic of fibonacci sequence doesn’t end here. If you divide any two consecutive numbers in the fibonacci sequence, their ratio is always closer to 1.6180. This number is called the Golden Ratio.
The Golden ratio is also called the divine proportion and has fascinated people for centuries. It is said to be in the dimensions of human body and can even be found in the famous paintings like Mona Lisa. It is said that the most beautiful human face has golden ratio hidden in the proportions of their face. Are you the one ?
Nevertheless, if you are looking to explore and read more about Fibonacci sequence, then here are some book suggestions.
( Disclosure : This post contains affiliate links, meaning, at no cost to you, I earn commission if you click through and make a purchase )
Fibonacci Fun: Fascinating Activities With Intriguing Numbers It has 24 easy to use activities to introduce Fibonacci sequence to kids
Blockhead: The Life of Fibonacci It tells the story about Leonardo Fibonacci and his fascination with numbers and patterns
Math Curse Its a story about a student who starts viewing everything in life as a math problem after her math teacher makes an innocent statement “you know, almost everything in life can be considered a math problem”. She becomes a mathematical lunatic until she find a solution to escape from the math curse.
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