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Grade: Elementary
Subject: Mathematics

#3436. Symmetry Project

Mathematics, level: Elementary
Posted Sat Mar 19 09:24:35 PST 2005 by Bonnie L. Short (
Dean Road Elementary School, Auburn, AL
Materials Required: Magazine pictures (faces, cars, ...), glue, pencil, paper, mirrors (optional)
Activity Time: 45 minutes - hour, depending upon the detail
Concepts Taught: Symmetry

Prior to the project:
1. Talk with the students about what symmetry is. Butterflies are often the most familiar symmetrical object that is familiar to the student.

2. Test their knowledge of symmetry by drawing object and having them finish the remainder of the object (1/2 a heart, 1/2 a circle, 1/2 of a line,...). You may want to use mirrors to show the symmetrical image of something.

3. Talk with students that completing a symmetrical picture is not just finishing what the picture looks like. Then draw objects on the board that have more or less of half of the object and have students come up and finish those drawings. This will test if they really understand the concept. Ex. Draw 2/3 of a face and have them draw the matching symmetry of the person. You will likely end up with a face with 3 eyes and 2 noses.

Symmetrical assignment:
1. Allow students to chose from a stack of magazine pictures you have prepared for them. These pictures should be cut down the center.

2. Students will glue these on their plain sheets of paper.

3. Then students will draw the symmetrical image of the picture on the paper with their pencil. Show students how to shade with their pencil. Keep the drawings in pencil. It really emphasizes the picture and adding color can sometimes lose the concept you are trying to reinforce. BE SURE TO EMPHASIZE TO STUDENTS THAT THEY ARE NOT FINISHING THE PICTURE, BUT MAKING IT SYMMETRICAL. WORDS CAN OFTEN BE TRICKY.

These pictures are great to hang up for other classes and visitors to see. They are really an eye pleaser!