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Compiled By: shazam

Here are some ideas for teaching symmetry.

alphabet symmetry
Posted by: chris

Have students find lines of symmetry with the captial letters of the alphabet. Some fonts are better than others, so choose carefully. They can do a venn digram of letters with vertical vs. horizontal lines of symmetry. They can go on to find symmetrical words (vertical line of symmetry- MOM TOO HOT TO HOOT, WOW, TOOT) (horizontal line of symmetry - DEED, BEE, BOOB!)
Look in palindromic word books. I made it a fun competition to see who could find the longest word with a horizontal line of symmetry - DECIDED, DECODED)

Posted by: Margaret

I know it's too late now, but I have a really fun way of teaching symmetry and congruency with my second graders. I have collected a lot of cookie cutters, some of which are symmetrical and some not. I have a recipe for "Play Clay" that I ask several mothers to make for me, and I have cut 1" dowels into 6" lengths. I give each child a piece of waxed paper, a handful of the clay, and a dowel. My children sit in groups of four, and I place a selection of cutters with each group. I let them "play" with their materials first to get that out of their systems, then we begin with cutting out shapes and exploring to see if they are symmetrical, and therefore congruent if flipped and placed on one another. They DON'T forget!! :o)

I also have a collection of mirrors and many pictures. I let them explore placing the mirrors on the pictures, etc. Another fun way for them.

symmetry idea
Posted by: teachfla

We take a piece of dark blue construction paper and fold it in half width-wide, creasing the middle. Then I come around with four colors of paint and put two globs in the middle of the open paper. The kids close the paper and rub it from the crease toward the outside to spread the paint. Then they open it to see what they've created. They can close the paper again and continue to move the paint until they're happy. After they dry we add touches with markers to create symmetry animals or symmetry faces.

symmetry ideas
Posted by: Christy

One thing I did in fifth grade, but you could also do this, was create "Symmetry City." I think I saw this in an issue of the Mailbox. I got a large piece of butcher paper for the background of our city. The kids created anything symmetrical for our city- people, trees, buildings,etc. Everything had to be symmetrical to belong in our city. The kids enjoyed it. We also had some good discussions on some good "non- examples" of symmetry.

Posted by: Margaret

I have moms make up recipes for "play clay" for me, just plain, not colored. Then using cookie cutters that I have collected and 1" diamter dowels I have cut for them to use as "rolling pins," I give the children about 45 minutes to try different shapes, cutting them out and matching the halves for symmetry. They, of course, love to play with the clay, but they do learn about symmetry.

Line Symmetry
Posted by: Marilyn

I have my students look at pictures of butterflies and moths. This is an excellent example of symmetry found in nature. Then I have the students trace a butterfly pattern (I usually have 4-5 different sizes) available. Once the students have their butterfly pattern cut out. They then decorate each side the exact same way. This is a great activity to show symmetry. We then display the butterflies for all to see.

Posted by: Brooke

I taught a symmetry lesson last year to my first graders. I did the lesson for an observation and it went great. I used the dye-cut machine to cut out different shapes (some symmetrical and some not) I cut enough for each child to have about 8 shapes. I put them in ziplock baggies so that I wouldn't have to waste time passing the shapes out. (good bonus for an observation-don't want to waste time). Then we talked about the characteristics of an object being symmetrical. I had the student fold the objects in half. Then I called students up to place the symmetrical objects on our "symme-tree" The kids thought this was great. We then displayed the tree in the hall.

Posted by: Jenny

The grade 4 teacher in our school did a couple of symmetry art projects. She had them put a blob of paint in the middle of a page, fold it in half, and then look at the shape and make it into a picture. They were very creative. Hope that makes sense. The other one that they did was with 2 different colours of construction paper. They folded one down the middle and cut several small shapes down the fold. Then they put that over the other coloured paper (i think it was black actually). Oh wait I think they had 3 folds with 3 lines of shapes going down. I hope this makes sense.

symmetry idea
Posted by: Debbie

When I teach symmetry to my second graders, one activity that I do and they always love is using small mirrors to see if letters and numbers are symmetrical or not. I have a sheet of paper typed up with the uppercase letters of the alphabet and numbers 0-9. They hold the small mirrors on their sides in the middle of each letter/number..if they look in the mirror and the reflection looks how the other half of the letter normally looks then it's symmetrical, if not then it's not symmetrical. They work with a partner on this and they love it! Hope this helps!

Posted by: dhorton

I did a lesson on symmetry where I read a book about symmetry, did a demonstration using food coloring and a diecut butterfly, and then had the students fold diecut shapes to find the lines of symmetry. I could e-mail you the lesson if you would like. My students seemed to enjoy it!

Posted by: Hudson

We brainstormed properties of each shape (circle, rectangle,square, and equilateral triangles). This became the focus of a bulletin board that we added things to throughout the week.
Some other ideas:
-symmetry nature hunt
-"draw the other half"
-symmetry paintings
-trade books
-symmetrical cut-outs from folded paper(the old valentine heart trick)

Search the web- great ideas!

Posted by: mb

Here's an activity for pairs of students. Just have each pair fold a plain white paper in half. Student A draws a simple shape on one side of the fold. Student B must draw the same shape on the other side of the fold, making the design symmetric. Then it is Student B's turn to draw a shape, with Student A copying it on the other side of the fold. This may continue for as long as the students like. It's a fast, fun activity that requires little preparation (and they look cool, too!)

Posted by: Kimberly

I gave each kid half a picture and they drew the other half. We did Santa because it was before Christmas.

You can cut faces or other symmetrical objects out of magazines for the kids to use as well. They glue it, draw the other half, and color it. It's amazing how they turn out!

This is also a great time to talk about butterflies and how they are symmetrical. Give them a butterfly template and let them decorate it symmetrically.

symmetry faces
Posted by: StephR

One thing I have done in the past that they kids like to do is to take a close up picture of their face (either the day before or using a digital...if you have access in class). Then they cut the picture in half and draw the half of their face that is missing. This works great because the human face is symmetrical and the kids understand this concept (they have been looking at faces their whole life!!)

Posted by: teachtigers1

I guess this is more of a game than a craft, but I'll post it anyway. Using pictures of people from photographs or magazines, mount them to construction paper for sturdiness and cut to the form of the picture. Then laminate them and cut in half. Mix up the cards and place face down. The kids have to find the symmetrical match.

Posted by: Carolyn

My students are creating a "Geome"tree." Each morning when they come into school, they contribute something geometric to the tree I have posted to the wall outside of the classroom. Yesterday, they created shapes with rotational symmetry. They decorated the lines of symmetry with glitter after they had drawn them. Today, they created trapezoids, parallelograms, etc. with small pieces of wrapping paper. Our tree is starting to look great! Of course, it is symmetrical, too. Christmas is a great time of year to do geometry, because there are so many fun things to do.

Tomorrow (if we have school--bad weather today!) we will use real candy canes as models to illustrate reflections, rotations, and translations. They'll position them onto construction paper after coloring the canes. These will go out into the hallway, too.