Sender: VICKI
Subject: geometry patterns lesson plans

hi,,, my name is Vicki and I am a new 5th grade teacher. (I taught 2nd for 23 years.) So this math is different, and a little more difficult to teach than what I was used to. My only source is the text, and our prinicipal has requested that try to get away from using that. But with 5 other subjects to teach, and not being familiar with this math yet, I'm kind of at a loss..

Anyway, I'm supposed to come up with a lesson plan to

  • Explore patterns that result from cominations of "reflections, rotations, and translations of geometric figures.
The plan is to include:
  • writing/metacognition, assessment strategies, interdisciplanary connections, supplemental materials, or textbook, and Bloom's taxonomy level.
Any help you could give would be greatly appreciated.


Hi Vicki

You (and your new students) are lucky that you have so much experience in the Primary Years. You know how important it is that students learn mathematics using manipulatives. There really are 2 important aspects to your lesson: exploring patterns & using transformations. You could spend some profitable time with Pattern Blocks. For example you could use either the overhead set or the magnetic board set and put out a red trapezoid so that its longest base is vertical and to the right of the shorter base. You can then flip it to the right using the long base as a reflection line. Then you could rotate it 90 degrees in a counter-clockwise direction (which your students will learn in Trig is a positive rotation). You could have each group (probably pairs) replicate this pattern with their own blocks. Then ask them to replicate this pattern with the blue rhombuses. Then ask them to replicate the pattern with another block of their choosing. You can discuss the names and properties of each of the shapes. You could also ask them what the rhombus and its reflection (in the long side) form when combined. (an hexagon). Similarly the green triangle and its reflection in a side form the blue rhombus. You could then incorporate a slide into the patten.
   Instead of Pattern Blocks you can use Geoboards and do the same thing with any figure that you want to put on the geoboard. If the students have transparent geoboards they can: make a figure, place another board exactly on top and copy the figure. They can then see what happens when they translate it and/or rotate it. They can also show reflections on the geoboard but not so easily. (The Mira is much better for reflections.) Tracing paper is useful for translations (see geoboard above). When you use it for rotations a pin is useful as the centre of rotation. You can also use it for reflections by folding. (I use waxed paper on the overhead when the students are using tracing paper.)
   When you want them to see "real-world" applications you can bring samples of wallpaper much of which illustrates the 3 transformations. If you look in the Yellow Pages, newspapers, etc you will find that lots of company logos have symmetry, etc and so show patterns of transformations. These activities would certainly address at least the middle levels of Bloom's taxonomy.

I hope that this helps.


There is a unit in our database called Tantalizing Tessellations that might be helpful. You can find it in the Resource Room by searching in the keyword field for tessellation.

The Centralizer


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