Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Show me the Symmetry!

Before Greg Percy visited, I made a point to use one of his songs with each grade level. 4th graders listened to the song about symmetry (I think it's called "I'm Beside Myself" but I don't have the CD with me to check.) The songs covers two kinds of symmetry- bilateral and rotational. The 4th graders were excited to tell me that they had just been reviewing symmetry in math class so I guess the timing was good! After the song and a PowerPoint I made with images for both kinds of symmetry, the students' assignment was to "show me the symmetry!" They could make anything they wanted as long as it somehow showed a type of symmetry. The overall composition could have been symmetrical or the object the drew could have been symmetrical.
We all know that student combinations can lead to classes with very different personalities... three out of my five 4th grade classes were excited, got ideas right away and jumped right into their projects. I encouraged them to play with some geometric shape tiles I inherited if they were stuck on coming up with an idea. Two classes needed a little more guidance to get started. I showed them how they could fold a paper in half, draw a shape on one side starting from the fold, cut, and open to have a symmetrical shape to turn into something. I showed the same concept but with their name forming the shape and that was a popular option. 
 Some students stuck to formal compositions made entirely out of geometric shapes while others figured out how to represent something that's important to them... like Dr.Who!

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