Thursday, October 17, 2013

THIRD GRADE . . . Symmetry in Art

In art class we learn how to use new materials, we experiment with new techniques, and we learn all about art history. Part of our lessons also includes learning art vocabulary. Symmetry is a good example of a word that all artists and designers are very familiar with. Symmetry means that both sides of a picture or an object are the same, such as the two wings of a butterfly. Symmetry helps create balance, and for many people that could mean beauty.

Third graders this year will be focusing on design and composition in art. Symmetry can be a strong element in the designs we create. To learn more about this important art term, we tried an experiment today in class. I gave my students five different activities to do, each one focusing on symmetry. I call these activities the DAILY 5 for ART. These activities included "Reading about Symmetry" and "Writing about Symmetry," using the many art books in my room for inspiration. Here are three more examples of how we discovered symmetry in our art room . . .

Students who selected this activity, folded a paper in half and drew a design on one side of the paper. They copied the same design on the other half, creating a mirror image of the first half. We saw many beautiful geometric designs and colorful butterflies.

Students used wooden blocks, Lego blocks and pattern shapes to create three dimensional forms that show symmetry. This was definitely our favorite activity of the day!

To do this activity, students worked in pairs. One student created a pose with their body to represent symmetry. The other student sketched a picture of their friend in the symmetrical pose. I'm not sure which was more challenging . . . trying to hold a pose without moving or creating a realistic figure drawing. We all had fun seeing the poses everyone came up with.
Note to families . . .
    This art blog will be updated regularly with new posts sharing our daily activities in the art room and news about upcoming art exhibits. To respect the privacy of our students, names will always be limited to first name only and identifiable photos will never be accompanied with a name. If you have any questions or comments, please feel free to write in the comment box below or send me an email at I would love to hear from you!
    In my class, students are given the chance to explore different materials and fun new techniques as they develop their signature style. Some young artists love to draw with a pencil, some like to paint on canvas or create images in a digital format, while others prefer working with clay and molding three-dimensional forms. In my classroom, we use a variety of materials allowing all artists to experiment and figure out which type of art they like the best. At Ranney School, we place a strong emphasis on originality and celebrate artistic differences, always nurturing and encouraging the imagination of every student.
     Remember to check out our display of finished artwork and student portfolios in the Ranney home page of