Radial Symmetry Lesson Plan

Instructor: Suzanne Rose

Suzanne has taught all levels PK-graduate school and has a PhD in Instructional Systems Design. She currently teachers literacy courses to preservice and inservice teachers.

Through this lesson plan, students will view a video about bilateral and radial symmetry and will analyze photos of marine animals to categorize them by symmetrical type.

Learning Objectives

As a result of this lesson, students will be able to:

  • define bilateral symmetry and radial symmetry
  • identify examples of bilateral symmetry and radial symmetry
  • categorize animals according to their symmetry


90 minutes

Curriculum Standards

  • CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RST.9-10.4

Determine the meaning of symbols, key terms, and other domain-specific words and phrases as they are used in a specific scientific or technical context relevant to grades 9-10 texts and topics.

  • CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RST.9-10.9

Compare and contrast findings presented in a text to those from other sources (including their own experiments), noting when the findings support or contradict previous explanations or accounts.

Materials Needed

  • Projector or SMART Board to display video lesson and quiz
  • Internet access to photo sites
  • Ruler and black marker for each student
  • Printer
  • Printer paper (2 sheets per student)


  • Ask students if they are familiar with the term 'symmetry.' Ask them what they already know about symmetry to check their prior knowledge.
  • Display the video lesson, Radial Symmetry in Biology: Definition & Examples, using a projector or SMART Board.
  • Stop the video at 0:46. Ask the students:
    • What is bilateral symmetry?
    • Give an example of something that has bilateral symmetry.
    • Do all living things have bilateral symmetry? Name some that do not.
    • What is radial symmetry?
    • How is it different than bilateral symmetry?
    • What is an example of something that has radial symmetry?
  • Pause at 2:03, ask:
    • What are some examples of radial symmetry in the plant kingdom?
    • What are some examples of radial symmetry in the animal kingdom?
    • What is 'pentamerous radial symmetry?' (Point out the prefix 'pent' if the students have difficulty remembering this term.)
    • If an animal has radial symmetry at birth, will it always have radial symmetry? Name one animal that has different types of symmetry at different points in its life cycle.
  • Show the remainder of the video.
  • Ask students to turn to a partner and state the definitions of radial symmetry and bilateral symmetry.
  • Display the Radial Symmetry in Biology: Definition & Examples Quiz using a projector or SMART Board.
  • Work through the quiz, question by question, allowing students to discuss each question in a small group before coming up with their answers. Discuss the correct answer before moving on to the next question.

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