For Nonfiction Monday -- "Growing Patterns: Fibonacci numbers in nature" by Sarah C. Campbell with photographs by Sarah C. Campbell and Richard P. Campbell.
The Fibonacci sequence begins: 1 1 2 3 5 8 13. Starting with one, each number is the sum of the two numbers that precede it. Campbell notes that one of the mysteries of this number sequence is how frequently it appears in nature -- at the center of a sunflower, on the skin of a pineapple, in the spiral shell of the Nautilus -- for example.
Campbell introduces readers to the sequence via photographs of flowers with petals that represent the numbers. This visual aid invites readers to predict the next number in the series as they proceed from a picture of a single-petaled lily to the two-petaled crown of thorns which is then visually linked to the three petals of the spiderwort and so on. Having established the basic pattern of numbers, Campbell then explores more complex examples.
Colorful photographs and reader-friendly text offers teachers a simple way to introduce the Fibonacci sequence to elementary students.