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This activity opens with pictures of traditional African sand paintings called sonas. A sona is comprised of dots and loops. One design is missing, and students are asked to study the patterns and determine the appearance of the missing design. The activity, part of the Figure This! collection of 80 math challenges emphasizing real world math, explains the importance of mathematical patterns in archaeology and cultural anthropology. The Hint suggests that students examine the number and arrangement of dots and their relationship to the loops and squares in the designs. Multiple ways to analyze the pattern are given in the solution. Related questions ask students to develop a mathematical formula to express a pattern of dots and to draw lines to connect dots in an array. Answers to all questions and additional resources are provided. Copyright 2005 Eisenhower National Clearinghouse
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