Dimensions - Exploring Flatland

Activity Sheet

The Shape of Space Curriculum Materials: Dimensions
Copyright © 1997 by The Geometry Center All rights reserved.

What would life in Flatland be like?

[Flatlanders from The Shape of Space]
The Shape of Space has one interpretation of what Flatlanders would look like. But this is just one possible drawing of some Flatlanders. Flatlanders have found their way into lots of books, like An Episode of Flatland, Sphereland, Planiverse, and Flatland. In Flatland, the main character is a square who gets sent to prison after his experiences with three dimensions. He has difficulty imagining three dimensions until an encounter with Lineland, a one-dimensional world whose inhabitants are lines.

Be Creative!

In groups, draw yourselves as Flatlanders and write a story about life in Flatland. Here are some questions to get you thinking:

Can a flatlander tie a knot? [ a hint | an answer ]

How would Flatlanders carry things? [ a hint | an answer ]

What would a fence look like in Flatland? What about a picket fence? (The picket fence should keep out other Flatlanders but allow them to see the flowers inside.) [ a hint | an answer ]

How would Flatlanders play baseball? volleyball? tennis? What would be the difference between these three games? [ a hint | an answer ]

How would a Flatlander eat/digest food? [ a hint | an answer ]

Make your own list of questions to explore.