Sometimes in class, we invent spontaneous games, which turn out to be great learning experiences (and lots of fun.)
One week, one of our 6 year old students was playing with blocks, and I noticed he was setting up a symmetrical arrangement.
I challenged him to a game. I would place a block, and he had to put one to mirror it to keep the structure symmetrical. Then he would place a block that I had to mirror. At first, I stayed on the vertical or horizontal axis, which is easier. But then I started placing things on the diagonal and he had to figure out the radial symmetry. This offered great learning in the math and spatial realm.
We had a GREAT time playing the game. It was at the sweet spot for learning, right at the edge of his capabilities. It was hard enough to be challenging, and to feel really good about his successes. And he had a fun time challenging me with especially tricky placements.
Here’s two of our creations:
Here are results from a more recent game, with a 5 year old. The central tower has the last few blocks that we weren’t able to mirror.
[…] the symmetry game with blocks or other building […]
[…] Learn about symmetry: Cut out a shape (e.g. a butterfly) and fold it in half. Open it up, paint one side – fold it and press the two sides together to press paint onto the other side – open it up and compare. Or use the butterfly coloring sheet. Or play the symmetry game with blocks. […]
[…] with symmetry: Get out the blocks and play the symmetry game, draw a butterfly for them to color in – making sides match, paint half a butterfly then fold […]