Friday, January 6, 2017

Some Simple Symmetry

Like many of you (I'm sure) I cover symmetry every year with multiple classes/grade levels.  For my third graders, we look at Stonehenge and talk about radial symmetry and do a project.  (Who can forget this horribleness?) I've done symmetrical name designs before and third graders really struggle with block lettering, and so it was really a hassle.  I've done simple designs in the past where students fold square paper into fourths and draw three lines and one shape (which is very successful), but I was a little tired of it.  This year we did our initials, (no block/bubble lettering) and I love them:

We finished these up in December, and I was REALLY needing some winter break (ie I didn't take any "in process" photos because I didn't even think of it).  Here's what we did: students started with a 9 x 9 square piece of paper, and folded it in half, unfolded, folded in half the other direction, unfolded, folded diagonally, unfolded, then diagonal the other direction.  Finally, we folded it all up to a triangle (using the lines we'd made) and drew our initials (just first and last), making sure to go from the bottom to the top of the paper in pencil.  I checked them (making sure their letters were big enough) and then showed them how to fold that to the inside and rub a marker on the back to transfer the graphite.  Done correctly, the letters morph together making a whole new shape:

Once all the pencil has been transferred, all pencil lines are traced with permanent black marker.  Finally, neon crayons were used to color a symmetrical design.  I am very happy with how these turned out, and they're brightening our hall:

You'll note this is the same bulletin board from back-to-school.
I say, "Make something that works the whole year!"
You're welcome.

I love how an R made an accidental maple leaf!
One more thing: I did have students glue their finished designs to a 12 x 12 piece of construction paper when they were all done to dress them up a bit (kind of explains the crooked gluing in the above photo). 
Only thing left to do is to post a sign of our lesson objectives asking viewers to try to figure out the students' initials.  Then sit back and wait for the questions that will come from it.
Happy art teaching!

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