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Geometry Reflection Activities

Instructor: Maria Airth

Maria has a Doctorate of Education and over 20 years of experience teaching psychology and math related courses at the university level.

Students will practice reflecting geometric shapes across lines of reflection. Engaging, mildly competitive games will motivate your middle and high school students to focus on the processes of geometric reflection in these collaborative activities.

Reflection Activities for Geometry

It takes practice for students to learn the rules associated with any subject. Spelling rules, grammar rules, and even geometry rules require careful consideration and practice for students to master. To make the most out of a practice session, students must be highly motivated to focus on the concept at hand. A great way to keep your students motivated is by offering fun, engaging activities that seem more like playing a game than doing a school lesson.

The activities offered here will keep your upper middle school and/or lower high school students engaged in the practice of reflection in geometry. The activities can be adjusted to suit the needs of your classroom.

Picture Puzzle

When students are on the creation and solution sides of a problem they obtain a very deep understanding of that problem.

Materials

  • Grid paper
  • Pencils
  • Ruler
  • Colored pencils

Instructions

  • Give each student a piece of grid paper.
  • Instruct your students to draw in the x and y axes to create a coordinate plane.
  • Now, instruct your students to draw up to 20 shapes (depending on the skill level of your students) within the coordinate plane. The parameters are:
    • The shapes must be regular shapes.
    • At least 2 of the shapes must represent a geometric reflection.
    • The line of reflection should be an axis.
  • Tell your students that they are creating a puzzle, so they should try to make it difficult to determine which 2 shapes are reflections of each other.
  • When your students have completed the creation side of this activity, have them swap papers.
  • After the swap, your students should use colored pencils to color in the reflected shapes (use the same color for each shape) and to highlight the line of reflection.

Extension

  • Extend the difficulty of this activity by requiring more sets of reflected shapes.
  • Extend the difficulty of this activity by requiring lines of reflection that are not an axis.
    • Students would need to identify the reflected shapes and draw in the line of reflection.

Alternative

  • Allow students to work together if desired.

Human Reflection

This activity allows students to really get into their math lesson.

Materials/Set-up

  • You will need a large space for this activity.
  • Masking tape (or sidewalk chalk)

Instructions

  • Get your students to help you map out a large grid pattern on the ground in your large open space (outside is a great place to conduct this activity).
    • If you have a large class, you may need two separate grid spaces.
  • Make sure to identify the x and y axes.
  • Divide your class into two or four teams.
    • Large classes will need to be divided into four teams.
  • To Play:
    • You will need two teams per grid.
    • The first team must place its members on the grid so that when the members of the team hold hands, a shape is formed.
    • Now, the opposite team must reflect the first team's shape across one of the axes.
    • Check that they have created the correct reflection before letting the teams switch jobs with the second team creating a shape for the first to reflect.
  • Consider a point system for correct reflections to maintain a small level of competitiveness, which may increase motivation.

Extension

  • Encourage the teams to create reflections across invisible lines of reflection.
    • Each team that does this must explain where the line of reflection is before their reflection is approved.

Alternative

  • If a large, human-sized, grid is not possible, pair your students up with grid paper and colored disks to accomplish the same task in smaller form.

Reflected Coordinates

This activity ensures that your students understand the mechanics of coordinate drawing while they practice reflections.

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