Symmetry Ideas
06092017, 03:29 AM


Take a piece of 8 1/2" by 11" paper. Fold it in half (banana fold). Using a skinny black Sharpie, draw a line on the fold. (I take it to the copy machine, and make one copy for each child.) Each student will need a copy for each of the following activities.
Idea #1: Each student builds a design using 6 to 12 pattern blocks to the left of the black line. (That same student collects a second set of the same blocks with a few others in a cup and leaves the cup of blocks with the design. This way, as students rotate, the blocks needed to complete the design are already available in the cup.)
Students rotate throughout the room and build the same pattern to the right of the line so it forms a symmetrical pattern. (Many of these patterns will look like butterflies.) As students rotate, they unbuild the pattern to the right of the line so the next student can rotate to that seat and build the pattern. (If you have 20 students, each child builds his/her own beginning pattern to the left of the line, collects a set of blocks in the cup, and then rotates to the other 19 seats to build the pattern to the right of the line.)
It is a good idea to model this for students before beginning the activity.
Idea #2: Partner students and have them sit next to each other with a open folder between them so the first partner and the second partner cannot see each other's paper. Partner #1 builds a symmetrical pattern on his/her paper. After adding each pattern block, partner #1 tells partner #2 which block to place on his/her paper.
Example:
Partner #1 places a yellow hexagon to the left of the line and tells partner #2 to do the same.
Partner #1 places a yellow hexagon to the right of the line and tells partner #2 to do the same.
Partner #1 places a green triangle above the yellow hexagon on the left side of the paper and tells partner #2 to do the same.
Partner #1 places a green triangle above the yellow hexagon on the right side of the paper and tells partner #2 to do the same.
Partner #1 places a green triangle below the yellow hexagon on the left side of the paper and tells partner #2 to do the same.
Partner #1 places a green triangle below the yellow hexagon on the right side of the paper and tells partner #2 to do the same.
After using about six to twelve pattern blocks, students remove the folder in between and compare the patterns. This activity depends on each partner giving clear directions.
It is a good idea to model this for students before beginning the activity.
You will find that students also want to place pattern blocks over the line. (Example: Partner #1 places the yellow hexagon over the line so half the hexagon is on the left side of the line and half the yellow hexagon is on the right side of the line.) This is slightly more challenging but fun too.
Idea #3: Give each student a piece of graph paper. The squares should be larger than the normal graph paper (maybe half inch squares). Fold the graph paper in half (can be a banana fold, but I like a hamburger fold instead) and draw a dark line. (I make one of these and then run what I need on the copy machine.)
Each student uses markers/colored pencils to make a pattern to the left of the line...fifteen to twenty squares can be colored. Collect the papers and give each student another student's design. The second student makes the same pattern to the right of the line.
