Monday, November 22, 2010

Lego Math: Symmetry

After studying line of symmetry and rotational symmetry I thought it'd be fun to do a little hands-on practice. With LEGOS!


1. Create a Lego masterpiece with line symmetry.
  • Basic level: build a Lego creation with at least one line of symmetry. When you're done, show the lines of symmetry.
  • Advanced: decide on how many lines of symmetry the creation will have. One? Two? More? Build a structure to those specifications.
Give kids a building plate and tell them to begin with a relatively flat structure...more picture-like than building-like.

[Teacher note: visit this site for more information on reflective symmetry.]

2. Create a Lego masterpiece with rotational symmetry.
  • Basic: build a Lego creation with rotational symmetry. You choose the order of rotation.
  • Advanced: decide on an order of rotation and build a project to match. 
[Teacher note: learn more about rotational symmetry and order of rotation. It's probably worth mentioning that while I don't remember being taught this in elementary school it's now a standard part of elementary math. I'm thrilled that my son will enter high school geometry at a higher level of understanding than I did! I knew squat.]
    See the video for our examples. I had my 8yo demonstrate the position of his lines of symmetry with yarn. As you'll see, it's difficult to keep the yarn straight to perfectly identify the lines, but it works. It'd be best to use some sort of frame to make it easier for kids to see the order of rotation. I'll work on that for my next rendition. ;)

    I didn't see this idea anywhere else and can't find it on the internet. Perhaps an original idea strikes once a decade. If so, I'm happy to share mine with you!!

    Please visit our other lessons on symmetry. Also, check out these art lessons using symmetry.

    And take a little peek at this "Symmetry Song." Love the way she filmed it in a mirror!

    Doing workboxes? Pop a handful of Legos in the box and challenge your kiddos!


    1. How cool to do symmetry with legos! And even cooler that you made a video of it and no one has thought of it before!

    2. Love both videos!! Must admit I have never heard of rotational symmetry. I just introduced this in our Math lesson (very briefly) last week. Going to show them this video and see what we can build. Thanks for sharing

    3. Very interesting multi-sensory learning!

    4. thanks for sharing... we love legos and the boys are always looking for ways to incorporate their legos into schooltime.

    5. What a cool idea to use Legos for a lesson on symmetry. I think my daughter might like it better than "complete the picture" challenges.

    6. I love the idea of using legos (or other blocks) like this - very cool, hands on, kind of activity! Love the video too! :)

    7. WOOHOO!!!!! I love it!! Gotta do this next week! XOXO Thanks for the wonderful idea!

    8. this is great! i'll have to put in on my twitter to-do list @gnomeschool

    9. This is a great post. I have a little guy who REALLY struggled with symmetry. I think that the legos are always an invitation for learning and fun. I pinned this one. Thanks!


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