Fractals | "The Living Molecule" | Complex Fractal Animations | "The Infinite Universe" | "Lightning" | Floral Fractal | Triangular Fractal | Fractal Star | Fractal Made with Squares: | What is a fractal? | | Instructions and Suggested Lessons or Activities: | Printable Instructions: | Other Related Modules and Useful Links: | | Fractal Art | | | Other Related Modules and Useful Links: | Twitter Feed


"The Living Molecule"

This Flash animation partially models the concept of fractals. It shows only a few different scales. It resembles a 3D model of a molecule. The spheres keep moving in an interesting way to resemble atoms bound together to make a dynamic, not-rigid polymer molecule. This animation never looks the same.Click this page and you will see how this fractal is formed in slow motion in full screen. Click the page again to get out of full screen. The colours and positions of the spheres are randomized. Looking at this animation may be beneficial for some autistic children who are sensory seeking and this may have a calming effect on them.

Complex Fractal Animations

"The Infinite Universe"


Floral Fractal

These fractals resemble the floral designs on a Persian carpet.
fractal800downsize.png fractal800sphere.png

Triangular Fractal

This is also known as the Sierpinski triangle. The following animation shows you that no matter which part of the pattern you focus on, they are similar or identical to each other.

Fractal Star

Fractal Made with Squares:


© R. Mirshahi

What is a fractal?

  • A fractal is a never ending repeating pattern that shows self-similarity on all scales. Fractals can be seen in nature such as frost crystals forming on the windshield of your car, or branches of a tree with each branch branching off similarly, the rhythm of the heart, etc. There are many fractals that can be made with geometrical shapes. Fractals can be beautiful to look at and for this reason they can be incorporated in an art lesson.

Instructions and Suggested Lessons or Activities:

The "Triangular Fractal" example above can easily be turned into a wonderful art/math lesson where students make components within the pattern, and as a class, you would assemble it into an impressive collective project.
  • You may use plain, white paper, construction paper or even used paper.
  • Fold the rectangular paper into a square and cut the square out (step 1-4).

Fractal instructions triangles10001.png

  • Fold the square in half to show the line of symmetry (step 5). Fold the bottom corner of the square to find the third point of the equilateral triangle (step 6). Mark this point and draw lines from the bottom corners to this point. This is your equilateral triangle. Cut it out.
Fractal instructions triangles10002.png

  • You can now subdivide this triangle into 4 smaller triangles. Fold the triangle in half (step 9) to find the midpoint of the bottom side. Fold down the top corner so that it touches this midpoint. Fold the other corners similarly. If you trace the fold lines, you will see 4 congruent triangles. Cut them out.
Fractal instructions triangles10003.png

  • Arrange and paste these triangles on a large piece of construction paper or simply arrange them on the floor to make a large fractal! Another way to do this is to choose two different colours of construction paper. One you would cut into smaller triangles (step 13) and the other one you wouldn't cut so that it could serve as the base (step 12) to glue on the smaller triangles. Another easier way still that involves less cutting is to cut the triangles that go in the blue areas on the diagram below to be pasted.
Fractal instructions triangles10004.png

Printable Instructions:

You may print the instructions on the pdf below:

Other Related Modules and Useful Links:

Fractal Art

Other Related Modules and Useful Links:

Digital Programmable Art

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