Unit of Instruction - Symmetry
Teaching First Graders How to Identify Symmetrical Objects!
Summary of Unit
Wisconsin Common Core State Standard
Geometry 1.G – Reason with shapes and their attributes
1. Distinguish between defining attributes (e.g., triangles are closed and three-sided) versus non-defining attributes (e.g., color, orientation, overall size); build and draw shapes to possess defining attributes.
Symmetry Painting - Students will design a symmetrical spider using paint and folded paper, and will begin to define the concept of symmetry.
Smart Board Symmetry - Students will correctly identify symmetrical shapes when presented with both symmetrical and asymmetrical shapes.
Symmetrical Butterflies - Students will create a symmetrical butterfly by accurately coloring a butterfly outline.
Symmetrical Letter Hunt - Students will classify the letters of the alphabet as being either symmetrical or not symmetrical by determining the lines of symmetry (vertical or horizontal).
SymmeTREE - Students will sort objects from nature that are symmetrical (with vertical or horizontal line of symmetry) and those that are not symmetrical.
Final Formal Lesson - SymmeTREE
Learning Objectives: Students will sort objects from nature that are symmetrical (with vertical or horizontal line of symmetry) and those that are not symmetrical.
Summative Assessment: Students determination of whether or not their object is symmetrical will act as a summative assessment. Also, students will complete a 3-part worksheet at the end to show evidence of their learning over the entire unit.
Engagement Strategy: Watch “Symmetrical Spectacles” video on Youtube from 4:19-5:04.
Teacher will remind the students that we can find things in nature that are symmetrical.
Call on a few students to give the definition of symmetrical.
Assign carpet partners and have students talk with a partner for about 30 seconds to 1 minute about examples of symmetrical objects they might have seen in nature. Call on a few students who are sitting quietly to share one of their ideas.
Co-teachers will take turns picking objects from the nature bag and will have a conversation with the students about whether the object is symmetrical.Symmetrical objects will go on the SymmeTREE and asymmetrical objects will go in separate pile.
Teacher will then model the worksheet for the students.
Formative Assessment: Carpet partner talk and guided practice portion.
Guided Practice: Pass out a cut-out of objects from nature to each student. Students will take turns placing symmetrical items on the SymmeTREE. Items that are not symmetrical will be placed in separate pile.
Summative Assessment: Results from SymmeTree, as well as the worksheets students will complete at the conclusion of the activity.
**Harper and Sam will complete independently (Megan does not come to school on Fridays), with the exception of some allowable prompting from co-teachers. Danny will complete an alternative assessment, requiring him to orally identify five letters from the alphabet and five basic shapes (oval, circle, square, rectangle, triangle).**
Closure: Completion of worksheets.
Instructional Strategies Utilized
Co-Teaching was used throughout the unit, and it allowed us to provide the necessary support to the students with special needs. It was also useful to have two teachers floating during activities, in order to ensure student engagement and understanding. When given alternative assessments to Danny, it was essential that two teachers were present.
Technology was also used throughout the unit. In the final lesson specifically, a YouTube symmetry video was shown using the Smart Board. Additionally, the second lesson featured a few different symmetry activities and games. The students LOVED using the Smart Board and maintained focus, interest, and engagement.
Cooperative Learning was used in a few of the symmetry unit lessons. During the symmetrical letter hunt lesson, students worked in small groups to decide whether or not the letters in their sets were symmetrical or not, and if so, whether the line of symmetry was vertical or horizontal. Students also had carpet partner sharing, which allowed them to discuss their ideas with each other.