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Symmetry Lesson
Grade: 3-4
Subject(s): Art
Required products: Tool Factory Painter
  • Computer
  • Tool Factory Painter
  • White Board/Chalk Board
  • Marker/Chalk
  • One sticky note for each student
  • Pencil for each student
  • Overview
    Students will be able to use Tool Factory Painter to create a picture that is symmetrical.
    1. Write the word symmetry on the board.
    2. Ask students what does symmetry mean? They should arrive at an idea such as, "same on both sides".
    3. Explain to students that symmetry is the same as a mirror image or a reflection in water.
    4. Give each student a piece of sticky note.
    5. Tell students to fold the piece of paper in half.
    6. Open the paper up and draw a quick picture on one side of the paper. I recommend drawing a half of a picture that meets the crease in the paper. (For example, half of a heart)
    7. Refold the paper.
    8. On the outside of folded paper, on the side that you drew the picture, have students use their pencils to color or shade in on top of the picture they drew on the inside of the folded paper. They should color pretty dark to make this work.
    9. Have students open up the folded paper. Ask, “What do you notice about the paper?”
    10. Students should respond with they see the picture on the other side of the paper, it is like the picture is looking in a mirror.
    11. Explain that this is symmetry.
    12. Now that they have done this using paper and pencil they are going to try and create a symmetrical picture using the computer.
    13. Have students log on to a computer and click on Tool Factory Painter.
    14. Tell students to right click on the button in the top tool bar that looks like a person on a paper.
    15. Click on “Left/Right” then click “OK”
    16. Draw various shapes and pictures on one side of the page.
    17. Watch as those shapes and pictures show up on both sides of the paper.
    18. Allow students to play with the program for a bit, discovering symmetry for themselves.
    19. After about 10 minutes of exploring, have students log off the computer. Write a question on the board for students to answer in their math journals.
    20. The question they are to answer in their journals is “What is symmetry?”
    21. Collect journals to be graded.
    Follow-up Activities
    Have the students use Tool Factory Word processor to create a report on symmetry. Do an EDIT>COPY in Tool Factory Painter, then open up Tool Factory Word Processor and do an EDIT>PASTE. Then write the report about the image they drew.
    Cross-Curriculum Ideas
    Art - Create a bulletin board of symmetrical artwork.
    Tessa Weiss
    4th Grade Teacher
    Georgian Forest Elementary School
    3100 Regina Drive
    Silver Spring MD 20906
    Phone: 301-460-2170 Fax:
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