Symmetry Game

Early Years
Age 3-6

Curriculum


Kindergarten: Demonstrating Literacy and Mathematics Behaviour

  • Describe, sort, classify, build, and compare two-dimensional shapes and three-dimensional figures, and describe the location and movement of objects through investigation (#17).

Context


  • Students and the teacher begin by sitting on the floor in a circle.
  • After the teacher has explained the game, students will play in pairs.

Materials


  • Whiteboard with a line of symmetry and markers
  • 8.5 x 11 paper with different shapes on each paper, folded (Appendix – download)
  • Magnetic boards (e.g. cookie sheets) with a line of symmetry
  • Magnetic shapes

Lesson


  • Show students a half of a heart drawn on a sheet of paper. Ask students what they think would happen if you cut that shape out and opened it up.
  • After gathering some ideas, cut the shape out and show them the result. Repeat with different shapes.
  • Turn their attention to the whiteboard with the line of symmetry on it. Explain what a line of symmetry is.
  • Explain to students that they will play a game where one person puts a shape down and the other person needs to put the same shape down in a way that follows the rules of symmetry.
  • Demonstrate this on the whiteboard.
  • After students have shown that they understand how to play, provide them with their own magnetic boards and have them play the game with a partner.
  • Gather the students in a circle again and have them look at each other’s designs.

Look Fors


  • Can children make symmetrical designs?
  • Does the child place the correct shape in the right location to match a symmetrical design?
  • What do children already know about shapes? Can they name or notice different properties of the shapes?
  • What strategies to children use to make sure they are making a symmetrical design?
  • What spatial language do children use?

Extension

  • Recreate the designs using other pattern blocks or reconstruct another student’s design.
  • Use the designs to talk about slides and flips. Which shapes don’t have to be flipped to get the symmetrical image?
  • Describe the area of a design in terms of triangles (e.g. a trapezoid = three triangles)
    • Assign a value to each 2D shape. For example, if a triangle is worth $1, what would the hexagon be worth? ($6). How much would your entire design add up to?
  • Explore fractions by comparing shapes: What fraction of the hexagon is a trapezoid? Triangle? Rhombus?
  • Have students measure the perimeter of their designs and see who has the largest perimeter. Ask them to make their perimeter smaller or larger without changing the number of pieces.
  • Pattern identification: are there repeating patterns?
  • Cut a piece of grid chart paper to fit on the cookie sheet. Design a symmetrical creation over top of the paper and try to figure out the area of the negative space. Create questions involving negative space: How many triangles could you fit in the negative space?
  • Create a puzzle: trace a design and give it to students. Tell them how many pieces are required to fit the puzzle or provide a list of the actual shapes used and ask them to fill in the shape.
  • Stack the pieces in shape groups to create a 3D graph of how many of each type were used in the image.
  • Language Arts connection: invite students to create personalities and names for the images/designs they’ve created and make a story.

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