Sunday, October 16, 2011

Simple Symmetry

This past week I did several activities to teach my students about symmetry.  Two of them seemed to capture my students' attention quicker than the others.  First, I read the book It Looked Like Spilt Milk by Charles Shaw.  After reading the book aloud to the students, we created our own pictures like those seen in the book.  Our paintings, however, had to be symmetrical.  I had the students fold blue construction paper in half, open it back up, and then I let them drizzle white paint in the center of it.  After that, they folded the paper again, mashed the paint around inside, and opened it up.  They were responsible for creating an object out of their paintings.  We discussed how each painting was symmetrical because one side identically matched the other side.  After this, I had the students completed the following in their best handwriting:  "It looked like spilt milk.  But it wasn't spilt milk.  It was a ______."  Second, I had my students create a 'symme-tree'.  (This idea was originally posted on Pro-teacher by Brooke-Jan. 25, 2004)  I made a very large tree out of bulletin board paper and placed it in the hallway at school.  My assistant then cut out various die-cuts from the Ellison machine in our workroom.  Some of the die-cuts were symmetrical and some were not.  The ones that were symmetrical were allowed to go on our 'symme-tree', but the rest were glued down below the tree in the 'dirt'.  This activity was great to use as an informal assessment tool, and it turned out pretty cute also!

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