Symmetry is everywhere, but it's often hard to notice. This lesson explores a few ways to identify it. By folding and making mirror images for different shapes, students will discover a new world of symmetrical figures.
Fourth graders will discover the building blocks of geometry in this unit: points, lines, line segments and rays. Students will explore the properties of different shapes, including symmetry, parallel and perpendicular lines, and 900 angles. Students will apply their understanding as they learn to sort shapes based on these properties.
Bring geometry to life for your young ones with this butterfly symmetry activity that doubles as a coloring page! Your students will love learning all about extending patterns and matching shapes as they make their very own symmetrical butterflies!
Symmetry is when one shape becomes exactly like another if you flip, slide or turn it. In other words, it is the same in size, shape and relative position of parts on opposite sides of a dividing line. Use our worksheets and resources to teach your students all about symmetry. This will give them a good foundation when learning about this very important concept in geometry.
Learn More About Symmetry
Symmetry, in non-mathematical applications, refers to proportion and balance, a sense of harmony and agreement in dimensions. In geometry, it is a shape or an object that can be divided into two or more identical pieces and are arranged in an organized manner. An object is symmetrical if a transformation happens that moves the individual pieces but doesn’t change the overall shape. So, if a figure can be folded or divided into half so that the two halves match exactly then such a figure is called a symmetric figure. Imagine a square or a triangle and fold it straight down the middle—each side is exactly like the other, which makes them symmetrical.
Types of Symmetry
Reflection symmetry: Also known as line or mirror symmetry, reflection symmetry is the most common type of symmetry. It simply means a line goes through the shape and divides it into two pieces that are mirror images of each other.
Rotational symmetry: An object that is rotated about a fixed point without changing the overall shape is called rotational symmetry. Many shapes have rotational symmetry, including rectangles, squares, circles and all regular polygons. An example of rotational symmetry that you’re probably familiar with is the recycling symbol.
Translational symmetry: Translational symmetry is when an object undergoes a movement, shift of slide in a specified direction through a specified distance. Think of a honeycomb or a wallpaper pattern that repeats.
There are many more types of symmetry that students learn as they get more advanced in their math knowledge. For now, teach them about the basics of this concept using our worksheets and resources.