Lifelong Learning Programme

This project has been funded with support from the European Commission.
This material reflects the views only of the author, and the Commission cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein

Also available in: bg es it lv pl ro sk en fb


Homepage > Experiences > Teachers Experiences


Title of the Experience
Introducing and understanding the concept of symmetry. Different types of symmetries in the examples from everyday life
Name of the teacher
Agnieszka Wojtas
Country where it took place
School typology
Primary school
Thematic Area
Experience typology
Teaching in class
Type of contact
Description of the Experience
Teaching geometry always makes a huge problem, probably due to the fact that teachers themselves have problems with "geometric seeing", and good understanding of the subject requires many hours of work with children, for what teacher usually does not have time.

Due to the fact I am working in a private school with increased number of hours of math I use different kinds of methods which purpose is to teach the child to "see".
I start many topics related to geometry with the question: "WHAT CAN YOU SEE?"
It is one of the fundamental questions, to which I expect an answer because this can determine what the student knows about the vocabulary and what particular geometric element for him/her is.

Teaching symmetry in my opinion, should be very strongly associated with reality and the usability of the concept.

Starting the topic of symmetry I spend the first classes on "artistic fun" where children can play with paint, cut out of colored paper "napkins" in the shape of rectangles and squares with different number of axes of symmetry. At this stage students are not sked to call it.
The next hour of the course is devoted to watching the movie on mirror, rotational and shifting symmetry. The film is constructed in a way that it is very strong linked to reality. The notions that children already experienced in natural way during plastic plays with symmetry appear.

After a series of classes devoted to marking the axis of symmetry and plays with a mirror we start the main task connected to the topic of symmetry, i.e., creating the models showing the use of symmetry in neoclassical gardens.
Students through the use of computer, books and the Internet acquire information and prepare a presentation on a particular neoclassical garden, using already acquired knowledge.

The last step is to work on the mock-up. Depending on the group – you can use 3D puzzle buildings with symmetry and to create symmetrical structure, having the function of the garden, depending on the imagination of children.

The interest and understanding the concept of symmetry through so comprehensively conducted classes is huge. Students work with incredible eagerness in a computer lab, on a piece of paper and mock-ups.
The effect is very satisfactory and "seeing" the symmetry does not cause trouble in the future.

Comments on this Teachers Experience

In order to post a comment it is compulsory to be logged in.

Date: 2014.11.19

Posted by Uldis (Latvia)

We use images or models to explain geometrical concepts .These models are in nature or in every day life.In my School I use models to explaim physics concepts.

Date: 2014.10.27

Posted by Veronica Del Bene (Italy)

The experience seems very interesting and I think it can be applied, with some changes, even to a first or second class in an High Professional Secondary School as one in which I teach.
I completely agree with the importance in the teaching method of the question " What do you see? " used by the colleague for introducing topics related to geometry. In my opinion, favouring the iconic-visual learning channels and stimulating the ability to observe the world are essential things for students. Moreover, speaking of symmetry with reference to the neoclassical gardens designed according to the geometric canons and creating symmetrical structures having the function of the garden, depending on the imagination of students are very nice and alternative ways of teaching geometry. Furthermore, in Tuscany there are many famous and beautiful neoclassical gardens and students could be interested in visiting them to see closely the beauty of the symmetry.

Date: 2014.10.09

Posted by Aleksandra Pilc (Poland)

It is very important experience. I also think and I can see watching the students, that geometry is not their strong point, so showing them geometrical concepts in different areas of life, in different situations, helps them not only to understand but to remember for longer important information. Just like here, if a student forgets what was going on with axis of symmetry, you can just remind her/him a password: “cutouts”. It is also great that they learn without even knowing it. And such a "fun learning" certainly motivates to work because they see its effects.

Date: 2014.09.29

Posted by Aleksandra Pilc (Poland)

Bardzo ważne doświadczenie. Też uważam i widzę obserwując uczniów, że geometria nie jest ich mocną stroną, dlatego pokazywanie im pojęć geometrycznych w różnych dziedzinach życia, w różnych sytuacjach, pomaga im nie tylko zrozumieć ale zapamiętać na dłużej ważne informacje. Tak jak tutaj, jeżeli jakiś uczeń zapomni o co chodziło z ta osią symetrii wystarczy rzucić mu hasło: wycinanki. Super jest też to, że uczą się, nawet o tym nie wiedząc. I taka "zabawa w naukę" na pewno motywuje do pracy, bo widza jej efekty.


Dissemination Seminar in Florence

31 October 2015 The seminar has been held in ITIS “A. Meucci” one of the schools involved within Goerudio project activities. Its main aim was to promote the results of the project toward a broad sample of stakeholders even overcrossing the number of people directly involved in the production of project outcomes. This purpose has been totally achieved especially thanks to the participation of students and teachers coming from different schools or from other classes instead of those ones directly involved within the project activities.