This post incorporates multiple activities to teach and portray the idea of symmetry. This incorporates a few activities as there will be four stations set up around the classroom for students to take part in. The class will be divided up into four groups with each group starting at a different station. Every fifteen minutes the groups will move clockwise to the next station until each group has been at every station. The four activities that are explained more below are lines of symmetry, symmetry with coffee filters, geoboard symmetry, and drawing the missing part of the picture.
Station 1: Lines of Symmetry
Reference: How many lines of symmetry are there?
In this activity students discover that there are many different lines of symmetry. They can see that some shapes/objects only have one line of symmetry while others have many more than that. Instead of having one big sheet like this I would have the objects shown on here cut out and placed on the table. The students would then each take one of each of the objects and draw the lines of symmetry on them. I think this is a great way to see the different lines of symmetry because even thought the student may think there is only one line their may be multiple. By the student being able to draw on these objects I think it becomes more obvious to them how symmetry works.
Station 2: Symmetry with Coffee Filters
Reference: Coffee Filter Symmetry How To
In this activity students get to create their own design. Each student takes a coffee filter and folds it exactly in half giving them their line of symmetry. They then need to wet the coffee filter on both sides. Students then take markers and create a design on the one side of the coffee filter. Once their creation is complete they can open the filter up to see their full design come to life. This is a fun, easy, and inexpensive way for students to learn about symmetry. When they can create something on their own they take more pride in it and will understand a concept better. After all the students are done creating their design at this station I think it would make a wonderful decoration in the classroom if they all were hung on the wall.
Station 3: Geoboard Symmetry
Reference: Geoboard Snowflakes
In this activity student use Geoboards to create symmetry. The picture and the link attached to this activity show different snowflake designs being made with rubber bands on the Geoboards. I think this is a great idea to explore the world of symmetry. Other objects/pictures could also be created on the boards to show symmetry such as flowers, faces, and random designs. I think this really gets the students to think because they have to make sure they put the same design on one part of the Geoboard as on the other or else it will not be symmetric. This activity helps with hand eye coordination as well. I think this a great activity for students because they can learn from each other by seeing what each other creates.
Station 4: Drawing the missing part of the picture.
Reference: Finish the Shape
This activity has students finish the other side of the shape by drawing. The student needs to make sure that it is the same on both sides so it is symmetric. This is a great activity as students need to think and visualize what the other side would look like. This is another skill concept as now instead of the student creating symmetry with an object they have to create it by putting pencil to paper which can sometimes be a little more challenging. I think this is a great way to get the minds of the students working.
Setting up stations for students to take part in gets them up and out of their desks to experience concepts on their own. With a concept like symmetry that can be confusing at times it is good to give students the opportunity to participate hands on. I think the students will take pride in all they create at these four different stations.