Teaching With Building Blocks - Lesson 4: Symmetry
Learning with blocks is a fun way to introduce play into the classroom. We want to encourage play learning, which we call "plearning" (I know I'm a dork) in order to trick our kids into learning so the process is less painless for everyone involved.
Symmetry is a concept that kids naturally pick up on their own but practice can go a long way toward nurturing it. Along with learning patterns, symmetry helps kids understand dimensions, design, classification and observation. All of these concepts are important to learn for math, art, reading, and science.
Start the activity by putting a random arrangement of blocks on your base and asking your kid to make it into a symmetrical pattern.
They can mirror your arrangement vertically or horizontally, which helps them understand possibilities in different dimensions.
Advanced Plearning Activity:
To step this up a notch, create a simple (make it real simple for this one) arrangement of blocks and have your kids mirror the arrangement to the left, then have them mirror it up, then have them mirror it to the right.
What your children will see is that the simple arrangement will soon become a tile pattern.
You can discuss that doing this grows the pattern exponentially doubling every time. what started out as 1 became 2, then 4, then 8. If you want to blow their little minds, tell them that they would only have to double the pattern 20 times to have 1 million copies of the original pattern (then merge into a lesson on investment).
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