Wednesday, April 4, 2007


Looking back on our topic some questions still remain in our minds. Throughout our research it was very difficult to determine the origin of symmetry. There have been examples of symmetry in nature and around the world since the beginning of time, however we were unable to find an exact date or mathematician relating to its discovery. We feel that this information would be interesting to note, as there is much information regarding the origin of geometry in general. Therefore, a question we would like to have answered is:
-Who first discovered symmetry and when was it discovered?

We found a lot of information on the topic of symmetry, especially with regards to the various types (i.e. line symmetry, point symmetry, rotational symmetry, etc). With so many aspects of symmetry, teachers may question the necessity of which topics to focus on in their lessons.
-How do we, as teachers, determine what aspects of symmetry to emphasize in the teaching of symmetry?

In reflecting on the topic of symmetry, we noted that there are a vast amount of resources available for use in the implication of a unit, such as this, in mathematics. Helpful to us, as future teachers in a technology-based world, online activities are valuable resources in gaining the attention of our students. A helpful online resource that we found is listed at the bottom of the main page of this blog.

Interesting to us, and possibly our future students, is the concept of the Golden Ratio. As we learned, in creating this blog, children have an innate sense to look for symmetry in the human body. For this reason, we feel that this topic would be of interest to our students - an explanation for why we see beauty in different people.

The issues we addressed in our blog were those that we felt would be most important when implicating a mathematics unit on symmetry. Though there are many other issues that can be addressed, as primary/elementary teachers, we feel that we cannot be experts in this field, yet we certainly feel more capable of teaching symmetry in our classroom thanks to our researched information.

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

List of Referenced Materials

Reference List

1) Clements, Douglas H. and Julie Sarama.(2000) The Earliest Geometry. Teaching Children Mathematics, 7(2), 82-86. Retrieved March 25, 2007, from Wilson Web.

2) Coffin, Tom. (n.d.). The Symbol of Beauty. Retrieved March 22, 2007 from

3) Johnson, Iris DeLoach and Sarah KatherineBomholt (2000). Picture This: Second Graders “See” Symmetry and Reflection. Teaching Children Mathematics, 7(4), 208-209. Retrieved March 23, 2007, from Wilson Web.

4) Knuchel, Christy. (n.d.). Teaching Symmetry in the Elementary Curriculum. The Montana Mathematics Enthusiast, 1(1), 3-8. Retrieved March 24, 2007, from Wilson Web.

5) Liebeck, Helen and Elaine Pollard. (1995). The Oxford English Dictionary. Fourth Edition. New York: Clarendon Press.

6) Palermo, Patricia. (2003). Symmetry? Could This be the Answer to the Age Old Question; “What is Beauty?”. Retrieved on March 23, 2007 from

7) Thompson, Mark. (2006). Why is Symmetry Important. Retrieved on March 24, 2007 from

8) Van de Walle, John and Sandra Folk (2004). Elementary and Middle School Mathematics: Teaching Developmentally. Canadian Edition. Ontario: Pearson Education Canada Inc.

9) (2007). Symmetry. Retrieved March 24, 2007 from

Monday, March 26, 2007

Useful Student Links

The links below present websites that offer helpful and interactive activities for students.
- Fun game for students
- Make a symmetrical pattern online
- Symmetry WebQuest
- Create reflections of images
- Variety of activities on symmetry and patterns

Helpful Lesson Plans

The following are a selection of lesson plans that may assist in the teaching of the topic of symmetry.

As symmetry can be taught in several subject areas, we have provided lesson plans from the areas of Math, Science and Art.

- Provides several activities on symmetry
- Lesson teaching the concepts of flip, rotate and slide

- Teaches the concept of symmetry through exploration of butterflies

- Investigates facial symmetry with the use of digital art
- Students create symmetrical illustrations with the use of crayons and an iron