Saturday, August 7, 2010

Symmetry in the Real World

Essential Question: How is symmetry used in the real world?


1. Introduce the idea of symmetry with several examples of simple geometric objects (squares, rectangles, triangles), letters of the alphabet (A, D, E, etc.) which exhibit symmetry. Show some examples of real world objects which exhibit symmetry. DO NOT give students a definition of symmetry, but show examples and draw lines of symmetry in the examples given.

2. Student task: based on the examples shown, write your own definition of symmetry.

3. Compare your definition of symmetry with the definition given at the following website: Line of Symmetry Definition. How is your definition the same as the one given online? How is it different?

4. Complete this Online Symmetry Exercise to better understand symmetry in Geometry.

5. Find a real world example of symmetry. Provide either a picture or a drawing depicting your image and explain what it is and where you found it. An example would be one of the car logos referenced in this blog site.

6. Design your own image of symmetry for a real world object - either real or imaginary - of your choosing.


Students will submit their definition of symmetry and the comparison of similarities / differences.

Students will submit their real world example and the object which they created.

Here is how this lesson lines up with my education goals.

1. Teach students basic concepts and skills. This is a great introduction to the math concept of symmetry.

2. Teach students in engaging ways. Kids love the web. This exercise gives them hands on opportunities to explore on the web and create their own symmetric designs.

3. Apply math skills to real world problems. The students identify real world uses of symmetry.

4. Teach students problem solving methods. There are no explicit problem solving techniques in this problem, but exploring the web to solve this problem is one way in which students will solve problems in the real world.

5. Teach students to work in collaborative ways. As part of this project, students will work on computers and will likely collaborate with other students on their task. This is not a 'team' project, but it does encourage working with others.


  1. Week 4-Symmetry in the Real World
    Response to Doug Snyder's symmetry assignment:
    My suggestions for reducing student anxiety in this assignment are as follows:
    Step 1. This is a discovery based assignment. Students will have to find their own definitions for symmetry and their own interpretations of this concept. In order to minimize anxiety at the beginning of this lesson students should be made aware of the resources they have at their disposal. Clearly defining the task will help students to get started with their work.
    Step 2. In tasks 3 and 4 it may be helpful to have students work in pairs or groups of three. Many times group work can help students overcome math anxiety.
    Step 3. As a final suggestion for this assignment it may help students to feel less stress if a rubric were to be added to the assessment portion of the lesson.

  2. Symmetry- Math Sophistication 7.2
    The use of models in the analysis of mathematical ideas is important when students deal with problems of a spatial nature. Symmetry plays an important role in the understanding of many real word systems and the use of two or three dimensional representations can help students to gain higher sophistication in their understanding of this topic. The ability to visualize the physical characteristics of an object and to make mathematical conjectures about that object demonstrates an advanced level of understanding. When students can create their own symmetrical representations they show their ability to use mathematics in a meaningful way.

  3. it's really a knowledge full post. thanks to shear . this post has removed my some wrong thing . i thing if you carry on your acctivetice you will achive much popularety.. at last..thanks.

    Information visualization Low