8.5 x 11 paper with different shapes on each paper, folded (Appendix)
Magnetic boards (e.g., cookie sheets) with a line of symmetry
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.
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?
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.