Monday, June 25, 2012

Spring Symmetry!

Well, I OFFICIALLY finished Grad School on Saturday!!! And the good news is, I finished school with a BANG! I totally rocked the last course. This degree was a loooong and time-consuming journey but I did it and it's D-O-N-E. And with a 4.0 GPA. Thank you very much. ;) I find myself not knowing how to use all of this "extra" time I now have!! I am very excited to dedicate it to family, preparing for school, and BLOGGING! :)

So here's a post I meant to put up in April. Whoops. ;)

On one afternoon of our many, many state testing days (yes, 4 days constitutes as many, many) student teacher #3 and I decided that even though we were way behind in math and the next test was coming up soon and EVERY LITTLE SECOND COUNTS, the kids still needed to have fun after taking a test all day. Sooo we decided to do a quick little art activity in preparation for symmetry and transformations using these materials:

(I should have taken pictures while we were doing all of this!!! Aaahhhh!)

We cut up several pieces of string (between 12" and 16") and gave a few to each student. We then poured paint into the pie pans (one color per pan) and spread them out among the room. Each student had a piece of thick, white construction paper to use as their canvas. Before we started we talked a little about the line of symmetry, though not too much because I wanted to save it for after the activity. To begin, we folded the paper in half, then opened it up (which, of course, revealed one line of symmetry). After that they picked a paint color, dipped the string in it, placed it on one side of the paper, and refolded the paper. When they opened the paper and removed the string, they were amazed to see an awesome symmetrical picture! Take a look at some of these!!!!!:

And the best one...

This one turned out SOOOO cool!!! Can you see the dog face??! Totally unplanned by this little artist.

After the activity, we discussed more about the line of symmetry and how much FUN the kids had doing this activity. After that, we made new locker name tags that were symmetrical. That was incredibly difficult and required very refined fine motor skills (which 4th graders do not have, lol). It was a borderline NIGHTMARE to do but it came out great!! I don't have close-ups but you can make out some of the names. The kids folded a paper in half, wrote their name right above the fold on one side in block letters (making sure to connect the letters to each other and to the line of symmetry), and cut it out. We opened up the names and glued them onto another piece of paper so the name stood out.

I hope you enjoyed the activity pictures!

What do you do for symmetry?


  1. Congrats on finishing! It must be such a relief!

    Sara :)
    Smiling In Second Grade

  2. Congratulations on your accomplishment. I really like your symmetry idea. One project that I've done in the past is to take a photo of each child. Cut the photo in half and glue it onto paper. Then, each child draws the other half of their face. It is a fun way to build understanding of symmetry.

  3. I have awarded you the LOVELY BLOG AWARD!! Stop by my blog to pick it up!! :)

  4. Congratulations on finishing grad school! Your symmetry projects look fun. A project that I do with my 5th graders is similar to the ones that your kids have on their lockers. For Halloween(or science)I have my kids do their names just like you do except that it is done on a sheet of white paper. After cutting it out,they glue it lengthwise to an extra large sheet of black paper. Then on another sheet of paper they freehand draw and cut out a skull, arm/hand and leg/foot bones and glue them in the correct places. They can then draw features on the skull to complete their skeleton.

  5. I have done that project for symmetry before! So fun! The other one that I like to do is something I call "Space Alien Name Monsters." You use the same white construction paper and fold it in half. The students write their name in cursive along the top fold and then trace over it with oil pastels or crayons. Oil pastels work better because they transfer easier. They have to make it really dark and heavy. Then they fold it back in half and press hard all over to get the crayon or pastel to show up on the other half. It usually shows up just enough or them to trace it. I found that with crayon they may need to hold it up against a window and use their pencil to trace the crayon on the outside. Then you can open it up and turn it vertically and they finish the design to become a space alien. The background gets painted with watercolors which has a very cool effect of not mixing with the crayon or oil pastel. The final part of the project is that they have to name it and write a story about their alien. I've done this with fourth grade and also with a K-2 art camp. With my K- 2 group, they did not write their name in cursive, but it still worked out.