Geometric Symbolism


*This course is intended for upper elementary students


Class Schedule

June 24th, June 26th, June 28th, July 8th, July 10th, July 12th

9:00-9:50 am PST 

*Note: This class meets on Monday, Wednesday and Friday over the course of two weeks. No class during the week of July 1st.


Note: Classes are listed in PST, click below to convert time to your time zone.

Course Overview

Have you ever thought about the symbolism of a Point? About a Line or two Lines, and of Circles, Triangles, and other Polygons?  In this course, we will survey the wedding of traditional arts, especially Islamic Geometric Patterns, with the symbolism of the basic geometric forms.  We will learn the compass and straightedge construction of  some regular polygons and geometrical patterns, which we can then tile electronically and print out to decorate and color.  In parallel, we will explore the geometry of flowers as an introduction to symmetry and proportion.  Individual student interest can direct brief excursions which they can share back with the group.

Student Outcomes: 

  • Explore the symbolism of basic geometric forms in traditional arts and in flowers.
  • Get familiar with compass and straightedge construction by hand and on a web browser by free play and some instructions for e.g. “triangle in a circle”, “pentagon within a vesica”, etc. progressing to constructions of tiled patterns from examples of Islamic architecture.
  • Explore aspects of the geometric arts in more depth and communicate it with classmates. 
**Please note: it is important that students have a compass for this course. We will share other materials that you likely already have at home before the class. Here are a few compasses we suggest:

If you have a compass at home already, please try and ensure that your compass has a center wheel to prevent the legs from moving mid-drawing, that would be great.

Student Experience

Pattern Seeker




Your Teacher: Nas Naserali

Nasruddin (Nas) Nazerali  earned a B.S., M.Eng. and M.S. degrees from MIT in Physics, Environmental Engineering and Geophysics. 

As an undergraduate, he minored in Comparative Media Studies, and has pursued his avocation in art and literature since then.  He has been involved in teaching at the high school level, starting in 2005, and as a graduate teaching assistant throughout his postgraduate studies. 

Nas joined The Nueva School in 2019, and has been continually training on the job in gifted education.  He teaches Math, but he’s picked up a section of Physics 101 and hopes to add subjects to his roster exploring other interdisciplinary topics.