Books, Science/Math

Perfect Picture Book Friday: Seeing Symmetry


Author/Illustrator: Loreen Leedy
Publication Info: Holiday House, 2012
Intended audience: Grades 1-3  (NOTE: Meets Common Core math standards for Grade 4.)
Genre: nonfiction picture book
Themes/topics: math
Opening and synopsis:
“Butterfly wings have it. Triceratops had it. The word MOM has it.When you know what to look for, it’s easy to start…seeing symmetry.”
Symmetry is all around us: on our bodies and in plants, animals, the alphabet, art and more. Leedy’s dynamic illustrations make it easy for students to “see symmetry” on the page and in their world. Check out her book trailer:
Why I like this book: Symmetry is a math concept you have to see to believe. Leedy’s images clearly show both line and rotational symmetry and help students understand key concepts like “line of symmetry” and “asymmetrical.” Her backmatter is extensive and includes notes, activities, a glossary and an explanation of why symmetry is something students should know.
Resources: Seeing Symmetry includes two activities in the backmatter. There are instructions for making a Symme-TREE by folding paper in half and drawing a tree along the fold line. Students can cut out and decorate their tree for an example of line symmetry. She also has instructions for making a paint blot picture by putting blobs of paint on a sheet of paper. Children fold the paper in half one way and then the other to complete the picture. Leedy also has a wealth of resources (many free) on her TeachersPayTeachers Web site.
Every Friday bloggers review “Perfect Picture Books.” Find a complete list of book reviews organized by topic, genre and blogger at author Susanna Leonard Hill’s site.
Arts/Crafts, Books, Holidays

WOW MOM: Mother’s Day Card Symmetry

Mom, if you are reading this blog post, please STOP. Right now. Delete this email immediately. Close your Web browser. Walk away.

Is she gone?

Ok, I’m going to let you in on a little secret — our homemade Mother’s Day cards. This year’s design comes from Loreen Leedy, author of the captivating math-based picture book, Seeing Symmetry. Loreen has a host of symmetry-related activities on her TeachersPayTeachers site, including the template for this WOWMOM card ($3) (Note: Her TeachersPayTeachers site has a free activity pack for the book Seeing Symmetry.)

Cooper asked me about symmetry just the other day. I’m not sure where he’d heard about it. Because he’d asked about the concept, making this card was a perfect opportunity to learn about the topic. While Cooper was decorating (with glitter glue, of course), I pulled some of Finley’s construction paper letters off the wall where they hang, so we could talk about which ones had symmetry.

Does Cooper understand symmetry now? Nope. I think that’s a fourth-grade math standard. But our glitter glue WOWMOM cards are sure to wow the moms in our lives. What do you have planned for Mother’s Day?