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Good Ideas for Symmetry

While these activities from Polygon Resources focus largely on line symmetry, some lead on to rotational symmetry. Although much of the work in this booklet relates to two dimensional shapes, there are opportunities to extend into three dimensions. The need to think of planes of symmetry rather than lines is a way of ensuring the more able students will meet appropriate challenges.

[b]Tile Patterns[/b] is an activity which uses tiling generators to investigate symmetry in square and rectangular arrangements of tiles.

[b]Polyominoes[/b] uses polyominoes, which are shapes that can be made with squares where complete sides of squares must be touching. Students are asked to make polyominoes out of 3, 4, 5, and 6 squares and investigate their lines of symmetry.

[b]Mirrors[/b] is a problem involving finding where to place a mirror on a starting shape to produce another given shape.

[b]Pegboard Patterns[/b] uses colour and spatial arrangements of pegs on a board to produce patterns with one or two lines of symmetry.

[b]Paper Folds[/b] shows a shape which has been produced by folding a shape in half along a line of symmetry and asks what the possible starting shapes could have been.

[b]Worms[/b] is an activity which involves drawing trails following a rule which can then produce patterns with rotational symmetry.

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