Symmetry and More Mandals

Symmetry is an important concept and vocabulary word for all ages.  Not only from a practical standpoint, but it’s tested for on the ODE assessments.

The project is pretty simple on the surface.  I want the students to experience and understand  symmetry by cutting out various images, in this case, a bat.  Most of my young students also need quite a bit more practice with cutting and pasting and general motor skills, so this fits right in with my over all goals.

The ODE standard(s) that would apply would be:

Explore and experiment with a range of art materials and tools to
create and communicate personal meaning.

Describe their artworks and efforts and share their art making processes.

Show confidence and pride in their artistic accomplishments.

Procedurally, The students fold the paper in half, draw and/or trace half of the bat shape, then cut it out.  This is easier said than done.

The vocabulary words I’m mentioning, and associated concepts I’m working on, in class, are:  edge, middle, center, frame, folder, balance, orderly, mandala, symmetry, same,  and equal.  I’m not saying all the younger children will remember them, but we are all trying.

Some nice bats, he did pretty well with the activity.  I’m pushing symmetry and balance, but, I’m sure, if you asked him, he would remember making bats.

This is a great example for a couple of reasons.  First she drew, cut, and pasted with no problem. The other reason is, without prompting from myself,  she demonstrated her knowledge about a previous lesson(s) that covered the concepts/vocabulary words of  frame, border, and edge.  The joy and pride in her face at accomplishing something is absolutely contagious.  I couldn’t be more pleased.

The concept of symmetry is not just limited to bats, here is a nice abstract shape example of symmetry.

Bugs of all sorts lend themselves to working with symmetry.

Nice smile, great wings, eyes, and some fangs!

More bugs.

This is a shot of work done by 3rd graders.  I taped 3 or 4 pieces of paper together to make an impromptu bulletin board and the students glued their symmetrical bugs on.

A closer shot of the quickly made bulletin board.

Smiling because I’m taking his picture or the assignment?

Interesting bat shape.

A big spider easily lends itself to the study of symmetry.

Nice shot of some symmetrical objects.

The negative shape is just as interesting as the positive.  Plus it’s one more word I get to mention to the students.

Nice bat in red demonstrating the principal of symmetry.

More work with symmetry.

Apparently a lot of joy can occur with cutting and using glue.  I’m hoping he remembers the concept of symmetry, but I’m sure he had a good time.




A few more examples of symmetry.  The worm is hard to see at the top because it’s green, but it’s pretty nice!


The next few are some more mandalas. Still symmetry.  I thrash quite a bit with mandalas.  Symmetry, repeated designs, orderly, cutting, pasting, some paint, and lots of other skills and subject areas can be brought in to the discussion.

This is a great piece!  carefully ordered design, carefully glued in pieces of paper, a crayoned border on the outside edge, and  another border of dots created with a pencil eraser and paint.   Finished and done in 45 minutes!

Same general plan as above, just a slightly different interpretation. Great stuff!


All of the above is done in the art room, at Believe to Achieve Academy in Canton, Ohio.  The principal is Ms. L. Henry, the art teacher is Mr. Tayse.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s