Beacon Lesson Plan Library

Everything You Wanted to Know About Symmetry

Beverly Iacobellis
Bay District Schools


This lesson introduces and reinforces the concept of symmetry.


The student understands the concepts of spatial relationships, symmetry, reflections, congruency, and similarity.


-Internet-connected computer
-Magazine pictures or drawings
-Safety scissors
-SILVER BURDETT GINN MATHEMATICS textbook or any other appropriate math book
-SILVER BURDETT GINN MATHEMATICS practice page #10-6 or any other appropriate math practice worksheet (one per student)
-Teacher-made task cards and shape templates


1. Gather all supplies needed for the workstations.
2. Cut construction paper to desired size for Workstation #2.
3. Prepare task cards and templates for Workstation #2.
4. Cut magazine pictures and glue to paper for Workstation #3. (Use drawings if you can't find magazine pictures.)
5. Tear out enough copies of practice page #10-6 or any other appropriate practice sheet.


1. Introduce the concept of symmetry by using the SILVER BURDETT GINN MATHEMATICS textbook (page 374) or any other appropriate lesson from another math series. The introduction of this concept should be done in a whole-group setting.

2. After introducing the concept of symmetry, let the students rotate through four workstations that reinforce the concept of symmetry. Have students spend about fifteen minutes at each workstation.

Workstation #1: Students complete the Student Web Lesson titled Let's Learn Symmetry.

Workstation #2: Students read a teacher-prepared task card and complete the task assigned.
This is an example of a task card:
-Take a shape template and trace it on a piece of construction paper. Cut out the shape and fold the shape to show the line(s) of symmetry. Write down the number of lines of symmetry that you find.-

Workstation #3: Students reproduce the other half of a magazine picture or drawing. Each side shows the symmetry of the picture.

Workstation #4: Students complete SILVER BURDETT GINN MATHEMATICS practice page #10-6 or any other appropriate practice page.

3. Bring the children together in a whole-group setting to go over their answers on the task cards and practice page #10-6. This is the time to answer any questions that they may have after completing the workstations.


Assess the students through teacher observation and questioning. Listen for:
1. Appropriate and accurate explanations about the number of lines of symmetry found in each shape.
2. Conceptual understanding as students answer probing questions about the results of their task card activities.


1. ART: The children create symmetrical holiday borders for bulletin boards and artwork.

2. MATH: Additional activities for Let's Learn Symmetry can be accessed in Symmetry Stuff, an online lesson plan available from Beacon Learning Center.
Return to the Beacon Lesson Plan Library.