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Thursday, April 5, 2012

Symmetry is Egg-citing!

It is very rare that I buy anything on TpT or TN. There are amazing things out there, but as a brand new teacher who is fully supporting my family right now (including full-time university tuition) and who could easily be switched to a new grade level next year, I just can't bring myself to spend much money buying classroom resources.

A week or two ago, I spent less than 3 dollars to try out a new lesson, though, and I could not have been more pleased with how it turned out.

Have you heard of the author-illustrator Loreen Leedy? I think my favorite book by her is Measuring Penny.

I love the way it introduces all types of measurement, not just length, and helps connect measurement to the students' lives. (Definitely one of those books I need to stop borrowing from the library and just buy a copy of already!)

Anyway, Loreen Leedy has a TON of books that are perfect for teachers. Many of them are math-focused, but almost all of her books relate directly to something we teach. (Seriously, check it out on her website.) And she has also worked on creating additional activities that can work with or apart from her books, just for teachers, and posting them to TpT.

Her latest book, Seeing Symmetry, is the exact same way, and she has come up with a whole slew of symmetry activities perfect for following a read-aloud. Even better, some of them are completely free, like her Spring Mirror Word Puzzles.

Aside from all of her symmetry freebies, I actually bought an activity, because it fit perfectly with four things I was looking for:
- Practice symmetry
- Encourage a little creativity without taking up an entire afternoon (or requiring much prep time)
- Incorporate the kids' excitement about Easter/ Spring in a religiously neutral way
- Get those snowflakes off my bulletin board!*

*Yes, I know it is April, and no, this hasn't actually happened yet. But it will, because these finished projects turned out fantastic!

So, I taught the basics of symmetry (and apparently can't draw a straight line... oops!) and then introduced Loreen's activity, Symmetry Is Egg-citing!

Basically, Loreen has created half-eggs with adorable springy patterns. (She also includes some in the pack that are fully drawn in case you want to just have kids COLOR symmetrically.) My class loved the variety of designs, and the boys were happy that not all of the eggs were "girly" (which sometimes happens with spring activities!) Some eggs are more difficult than others, too, so my timid artists could choose a simpler drawing, which was perfect!

We followed these steps:
1. Draw the other side of the egg so that the egg is symmetrical.

 2. Once teacher-approved, trace over the pencil drawing with a Sharpie. (Fine tipped is best!)

See? The fine-tipped Sharpie matches the printable so much better.

3. Color the egg symmetrically using crayons, colored pencils, markers, or any mix you'd like. (This was a favorite part for my kids. "We actually get to use markers?!")

4. Once your egg is completely colored like the one below, cut out the egg.

5. Give it to your teacher, who plans to create a giant paper basket for the bulletin board and add a little Easter grass to impress the parents walking by our room to the Book Fair next week!

One of my favorite things about this activity is that I could assess who really knew symmetry and not based on their drawings. Some of them (like this one) didn't turn out perfect, but she clearly tried to make the right side match the left!

You can find Symmetry is Egg-citing, Spring Mirror Word Puzzles, and more at Loreen Leedy's TpT store, so check them out. Seeing as she is an actual illustrator, the graphics are truly awesome. Definitely stop by for the free activities, at least, and I highly recommend this activity if you're looking for an activity for tomorrow afternoon before Easter! (All you have to do is print and copy!)

Thanks so much to Loreen Leedy for keeping teachers in mind when she creates! (And for keeping the price reasonable enough for a new teacher like me!)


  1. Thanks for this post!! I will have to check out her creations as we will be learning about symmetry soon!
    Twirlybird Teaching

  2. YOU'VE BEEN TAGGED! Head to my blog to find out what you have to do next!

    Second Grade Math Maniac Blog

  3. I also tagged you! You can check it out here!

    2nd Grade Rocks!

  4. *blushing* Thank you so much Jenny! It's a delight to see your students in action...I always try to offer some "non-girly" options. Have posted links to this article hither and yon.


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