Explore Hexagonal Structure and Design


The crystalline structure of a snowflake is hexagonal (six-sided.) The radiating design of each snowflake is unique. A study of snowflakes expands upon radial design explorations. Solving the problem of how to construct a 6-sided radial can be an exciting challenge – especially on a snow day. It is both a geometry problem and a design problem.

Snowflakes by first-graders


You Might Ask:

I thought you might like to build upon your radial design explorations by constructing hexagonal snowflake designs. Let us take a few moments to share what we know about snowflakes.(They are hexagons. Each one is different….)

Ask, How could you use the straight line tools to construct a hexagon or 6-sided structure? Pretend that your hand is a straight line tool and demonstrate your strategy. Pick up on student suggestions as you demonstrate a few strategies.

For amazing images of actual snowflakes visit: macro photography of snowflakes by Alexey Kljatov

If you have time, read one of the many wonderful books about snowflakes or show images from the internet. Google “snowflakes” or “books about snowflakes” for a wealth of images and ideas.


Here are two ways to generate a six-sided structure with a line:

Print a diagonal line.
Cross it.
Cross it again.

Print an equilateral triangle.
Overlap with another equilateral triangle.
Extend the points.


Share & Reflect

If I can do it, you can do it! says Marcus, age 8

Variations & Extensions