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Symmetry and Tessellations – Outdoor learning day 3
March 7, 2012

Time for the third instalment of outdoor learning, today two simple ideas which allow students to explore symmetry and tessellation. 

Light Sensitive Paper

Light sensitive paper allows you to print a silhouette of anything you want, you place it on the paper in sunlight for a few minutes and then place in cold water to set the image. Can be purchased from lots of places on-line, the cheapest I have found is here. So, get students to search outside for any natural objects which have symmetry – don’t tell them but leaves work particularly well, or flowers. Then they can make a print of the object using the paper, back in the classroom they can stick their image on some poster paper and use this to annotate their image and explain the lines and rotational symmetry.

Tessellations rubs

Given a sheet of A3 paper and a wax crayon students can make a ‘tessellation rub’ they need to find something outdoors which exhibits tessellation and then place their paper over it and rub with their crayon to produce a sort of relief image. Bricks, tiles, paving slabs, door panels and tyres all work really well for this. Back in the classroom they can again annotate this to explain the shapes, angles and why the tessellation works.

These two activities can be run as a mini project in the same lesson with the focus being shape properties in real-life – get some nice display work going on!  Get in touch @numberloving and check out our free and premium resources in our NumberLoving Store.

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Sharon Derbyshire

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