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Congruent and symmetric shapes
Printable Version
for your convenience!
Title  Congruent and Symmetric shapes
By  Jennifer Looney
Primary Subject  Math
Grade Level  3rd
Learning Objectives:
After the lesson, the student will be able to accurately point out what pairs of shapes are
congruent and which are not.
The student will be able to use graph paper and rulers to correctly create congruent shapes and
shapes that have symmetry.
The student will be able to accurately point out shapes that have symmetry.
Materials needed:
Construction paper
Graph paper (enough for each student)
Rulers (enough for each student to have one)
Scissors
Markers
White paper or two half pieces of poster board
PreActivity Preparation:
Make examples of symmetric and congruent shapes (an example of each to use when
explaining the definitions of symmetric and congruent and smaller examples to use at the end
of the lesson).
Make a 1/2 poster for each word (congruent and symmetric) with the definition.
Make an example for the activity.
Transition:
"Please return to your desk and put everything away."
Introduction:
Hold up a normal pen and then hold up a large pen and ask, "Are these pens the same size?"
Then go on to explain the definitions of symmetry and congruent shapes. (You could use two
items as long as they are the same thing, but different sizes.
Procedure:
1. Explain that "If two things or shapes are congruent, they are the same shape and the same
size."
2. Hold up an example of two congruent things: "These two shapes are congruent, because
they are the same shape and the same size."
3. Then hold up the example from the introduction and explain that they are not congruent,
because although they are the same shape, they are different sizes.
4. Explain that if "something is symmetric, it can be folded in half and match up on both sides."
5. Then fold a piece of paper in half and cut out a heart  or any other shape  and explain that
it has symmetry because it can be folded in half and match up perfectly.
6. Then using a piece of paper (NOT folded in half) cut out another shape.
7. Explain that it is not symmetric because when you fold it in half, it does not match up.
8. Go through more examples, mixing congruent (and noncongruent) with symmetric (and
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nonsymmetric) shapes.
Closure:
After showing all of the examples, have students look around and list things in the classroom
that are congruent (i.e. desks, paper, new pencils) and things that are symmetric (i.e. paper).
Then explain the activity.
Activity:
Have students use graph paper and rulers to draw a symmetric shape and two congruent
shapes. Make sure you have an example ready to show the students.
EMail
Jennifer Looney
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