Beacon Lesson Plan Library

Silly Symmetrical Names

Vicky Nichols
Bay District Schools


Students participate in hands-on activities to introduce them to the concept of symmetry.


The student knows symmetry, congruency, and reflections in geometric figures using drawings and concrete materials (for example, pattern blocks, mirrors).


-Internet accessible computers to access Student Web Lesson, Let's Learn Symmetry (See Weblinks)
-Practice pages exploring symmetry
-8-1/2 - x 11- pieces of construction paper
-Cut out pictures of items that may or may not be symmetrical to use as examples


1. Using the 8-1/2 x 11 construction paper, fold the paper lengthwise, write (in cursive) on the fold each student's name, turn the paper over and trace the student's name on the other side of the fold. (When the paper is opened, the name should be symmetrical.)
2. Prepare symmetrical practice pages.
3. Prepare construction paper and scissors for the first activity.
4. Set up the activity center with prepared paper (paper with students' names), glue, and crayons.
5. Turn on computers and load the Student Web Lesson, Let's Learn Symmetry.
6. Gather materials for station one.
7. Gather pictures to use as examples when making lines of symmetry.


Whole Group activity

1. Introduce symmetry by writing the word on the board. Tell students to follow the directions as they are said. Model the directions on a large sheet of paper as they are said.

2. Give each student a piece of paper and a pair of scissors. Ask students to draw a triangle on the fold.

3. Have students cut out the triangle.

4. Have students unfold the figure. Ask them what they see.

5. Discuss that both halves match exactly. Ask students if they might know what the fold line is called. Point to the word symmetry that is written on the board.

6. Tell students that the fold line is called a line of symmetry.

7. Tell students that a figure has symmetry only if both halves are exactly the same shape and size.

8. Hold up other pictures that have been cut out such as trees, snowflakes, house, cars, etc. that the students might recognize. Include pictures that are examples and non-examples of symmetry.

9. Ask if students think there might be a line of symmetry in each one. Fold the pictures to show if there is or isn't.

10. Assess students' understanding by asking the question, What is a line of symmetry? Review the word and print the definiton on the board.

Divide students into three rotating groups. Students rotate among three stations to reinforce what they've learned about symmetry.

Station 1:
Complete practice pages exploring symmetry at desks. Completed papers will be used for a formative assessment.

Station 2:
Complete the student online lesson, Let's Learn Symmetry, (available from the Beacon Learning Center) at the computer workstations. (See Weblinks)

Station 3:
Complete the Silly Symmetrical Name activity at an activity center.

The Silly Symmetrical Name activity is described below:

1. Each student finds the prepared paper with his or her name on it. (See Preparation)

2. Student observes the symmetrical pattern of his or her name and cuts around the letters, being careful not to cut on the folded part. Cutting both sides together will give a better example of symmetry.

3. Students make a silly symmetrical picture out of their names after gluing them onto a larger sheet of construction paper.

4. Tell the students they can picture their names as bugs, trees, or houses. Anything they can imagine or draw, they can use to make a silly symmetrical picture out of their names. Students must draw the line of symmetry in their drawings.


When all rotations have been completed, class comes back together and discusses what they have learned about symmetry.


The papers completed at Station 1 should be formatively assessed to make sure that students can identify and recognize a line of symmetry. Since symmetry is just one part of the benchmark, mastery cannot be achieved in this lesson.

Observe students during the discussion and online Student Web Lesson to see if students are exhibiting an understanding of the concept of symmetry. More practice will be necessary for students to be summatively assessed on this benchmark.

The name activity should be assessed based on the line of symmetry in the drawing. Students who cannot identify the line of symmetry in their names, or who have difficulty on the sheets or online Web lesson need additional instruction and feedback.
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