ALEX Lesson Plans
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Title: Exploring Monticello: Symmetry in Math and Science
Description:
Lesson created by Melinda Defee, Tammy Goss, and Nicole Kimbril
This lesson teaches students math and science principles of dimension, symmetry and reflection through drawing various buildings.
The lesson is part of a larger interdisciplinary unit that explores art, math, science, language arts, and social studies through the study of the architecture of Monticello to illustrate symmetry and the cultural influences on modern society.
This lesson plan was created through a collection of the participants of ArtBridges 2014 workshop and the Johnson Center for the Arts.
Standard(s): [MA2015] GEO (912) 5: Given a geometric figure and a rotation, reflection, or translation, draw the transformed figure using, e.g., graph paper, tracing paper, or geometry software. Specify a sequence of transformations that will carry a given figure onto another. [GCO5]
Subject: Mathematics (8  12), or Science (8)
Title: Exploring Monticello: Symmetry in Math and Science
Description: Lesson created by Melinda Defee, Tammy Goss, and Nicole Kimbril
This lesson teaches students math and science principles of dimension, symmetry and reflection through drawing various buildings.
The lesson is part of a larger interdisciplinary unit that explores art, math, science, language arts, and social studies through the study of the architecture of Monticello to illustrate symmetry and the cultural influences on modern society.
This lesson plan was created through a collection of the participants of ArtBridges 2014 workshop and the Johnson Center for the Arts.
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Title: How Tall Is Hagrid?
Description:
This activity uses data collection method for students to mathematically compute the height and shoulder width of the character Hagrid from Harry Potter. Students will measure their own heights and shoulder widths to come up with a class average. They will use this average to find an approximation of the size of Hagrid.This lesson plan was created as a result of the Girls Engaged in Math and Science University, GEMSU Project.
Standard(s): [MA2015] (8) 19: Understand that a twodimensional figure is similar to another if the second can be obtained from the first by a sequence of rotations, reflections, translations, and dilations; given two similar twodimensional figures, describe a sequence that exhibits the similarity between them. [8G4]
Subject: Mathematics (6  8)
Title: How Tall Is Hagrid?
Description: This activity uses data collection method for students to mathematically compute the height and shoulder width of the character Hagrid from Harry Potter. Students will measure their own heights and shoulder widths to come up with a class average. They will use this average to find an approximation of the size of Hagrid.This lesson plan was created as a result of the Girls Engaged in Math and Science University, GEMSU Project.
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Title: Using a Graphing Calculator to Determine Transformation(s)
Description:
Students will use graphing calculators(TI83 Plus) to find transformations of polygons.This lesson plan was created as a result of the Girls Engaged in Math and Science, GEMS Project funded by the Malone Family Foundation.
Standard(s): [MA2015] (8) 19: Understand that a twodimensional figure is similar to another if the second can be obtained from the first by a sequence of rotations, reflections, translations, and dilations; given two similar twodimensional figures, describe a sequence that exhibits the similarity between them. [8G4]
Subject: Mathematics (8)
Title: Using a Graphing Calculator to Determine Transformation(s)
Description: Students will use graphing calculators(TI83 Plus) to find transformations of polygons.This lesson plan was created as a result of the Girls Engaged in Math and Science, GEMS Project funded by the Malone Family Foundation.
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Title: Geometry City
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In this lesson, students will review coordinate plane concepts, practice map skills, review shapes, transform geometric figures, and calculate the area and perimeter of figures.This lesson plan was created as a result of the Girls Engaged in Math and Science, GEMS Project funded by the Malone Family Foundation.
Standard(s): [MA2015] (8) 19: Understand that a twodimensional figure is similar to another if the second can be obtained from the first by a sequence of rotations, reflections, translations, and dilations; given two similar twodimensional figures, describe a sequence that exhibits the similarity between them. [8G4]
Subject: Mathematics (6  8), or Technology Education (6  8)
Title: Geometry City
Description: In this lesson, students will review coordinate plane concepts, practice map skills, review shapes, transform geometric figures, and calculate the area and perimeter of figures.This lesson plan was created as a result of the Girls Engaged in Math and Science, GEMS Project funded by the Malone Family Foundation.
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Title: What Shape Are You?
Description:
In this lesson, students will read "The Greedy Triangle" by Marilyn Burns, participate in class activities to classify two and threedimensional shapes, produce a powerpoint describing a chosen shape, and make a picture of themselves as one of the shapes.
Standard(s): [MA2015] (8) 19: Understand that a twodimensional figure is similar to another if the second can be obtained from the first by a sequence of rotations, reflections, translations, and dilations; given two similar twodimensional figures, describe a sequence that exhibits the similarity between them. [8G4]
Subject: Mathematics (7  8), or Technology Education (6  8)
Title: What Shape Are You?
Description: In this lesson, students will read "The Greedy Triangle" by Marilyn Burns, participate in class activities to classify two and threedimensional shapes, produce a powerpoint describing a chosen shape, and make a picture of themselves as one of the shapes.
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Title: Scale Drawings
Description:
During this lesson students practice measuring and converting to scaled measurements. Students measure various places on campus, such as a classroom or the gym. They place their findings on a spreadsheet. After converting these measurements to a scaled version, students draw a scaled model.
Standard(s): [MA2015] ALC (912) 11: Use ratios of perimeters, areas, and volumes of similar figures to solve applied problems. (Alabama)
Subject: Mathematics (8  12)
Title: Scale Drawings
Description: During this lesson students practice measuring and converting to scaled measurements. Students measure various places on campus, such as a classroom or the gym. They place their findings on a spreadsheet. After converting these measurements to a scaled version, students draw a scaled model.
Thinkfinity Lesson Plans
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Title: Covering the Plane with RepTiles
Description:
In this lesson, from Illuminations, students discover and explore a special kind of tiling of the plane. Reptiles are geometric figures such that n copies can fit together to form a larger, similar figure. Students experiment with various shapes and values of n. Spatial sense is encouraged by the need to visualize and perform transformations with the shapes involved.
Standard(s): [MA2015] GEO (912) 16: Use the properties of similarity transformations to establish the angleangle (AA) criterion for two triangles to be similar. [GSRT3]
Subject: Mathematics Title: Covering the Plane with RepTiles
Description: In this lesson, from Illuminations, students discover and explore a special kind of tiling of the plane. Reptiles are geometric figures such that n copies can fit together to form a larger, similar figure. Students experiment with various shapes and values of n. Spatial sense is encouraged by the need to visualize and perform transformations with the shapes involved. Thinkfinity Partner: Illuminations Grade Span: 3,4,5,6,7,8
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Title: Describing Reflections
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In this lesson, one of a multipart unit from Illuminations, students learn how reflections work and what happens when two or more reflections are applied one after the other. They use interactive Java applets to examine the reflection of a point and how to describe reflections.
Standard(s): [MA2015] GEO (912) 6: Use geometric descriptions of rigid motions to transform figures and to predict the effect of a given rigid motion on a given figure; given two figures, use the definition of congruence in terms of rigid motions to decide if they are congruent. [GCO6]
Subject: Mathematics Title: Describing Reflections
Description: In this lesson, one of a multipart unit from Illuminations, students learn how reflections work and what happens when two or more reflections are applied one after the other. They use interactive Java applets to examine the reflection of a point and how to describe reflections. Thinkfinity Partner: Illuminations Grade Span: 9,10,11,12
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Title: Exploring the Isometric Drawing Tool
Description:
In this lesson, one of a multipart unit from Illuminations, students explore using an isometric drawing tool and gain practice and experience in manipulating drawings. They explore polyhedra using different representations and perspectives.
Standard(s): [MA2015] GEO (912) 38: Identify the shapes of twodimensional crosssections of threedimensional objects, and identify threedimensional objects generated by rotations of twodimensional objects. [GGMD4]
Subject: Mathematics Title: Exploring the Isometric Drawing Tool
Description: In this lesson, one of a multipart unit from Illuminations, students explore using an isometric drawing tool and gain practice and experience in manipulating drawings. They explore polyhedra using different representations and perspectives. Thinkfinity Partner: Illuminations Grade Span: 6,7,8
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Title: Reflections Across Two Mirror Lines
Description:
In this lesson, one of a multipart unit from Illuminations, students learn what happens when a design is reflected twice across two different mirror lines. They use interactive Java applets to explore reflections across parallel and intersecting mirror lines.
Standard(s): [MA2015] GEO (912) 12: Make formal geometric constructions with a variety of tools and methods such as compass and straightedge, string, reflective devices, paper folding, and dynamic geometric software. Constructions include copying a segment; copying an angle; bisecting a segment; bisecting an angle; constructing perpendicular lines, including the perpendicular bisector of a line segment; and constructing a line parallel to a given line through a point not on the line. [GCO12]
Subject: Mathematics Title: Reflections Across Two Mirror Lines
Description: In this lesson, one of a multipart unit from Illuminations, students learn what happens when a design is reflected twice across two different mirror lines. They use interactive Java applets to explore reflections across parallel and intersecting mirror lines. Thinkfinity Partner: Illuminations Grade Span: 9,10,11,12
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Title: Relating Rotations to Symmetry
Description:
In this lesson, one of a multipart unit from Illuminations, students investigate the relationship between rotations and the symmetry in a figure or a design. They use an interactive Java applet to illustrate rotational symmetry and investigate cyclic designs and point symmetry.
Standard(s): [MA2015] GEO (912) 16: Use the properties of similarity transformations to establish the angleangle (AA) criterion for two triangles to be similar. [GSRT3]
Subject: Mathematics Title: Relating Rotations to Symmetry
Description: In this lesson, one of a multipart unit from Illuminations, students investigate the relationship between rotations and the symmetry in a figure or a design. They use an interactive Java applet to illustrate rotational symmetry and investigate cyclic designs and point symmetry. Thinkfinity Partner: Illuminations Grade Span: 9,10,11,12
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Title: Relationships Between Reflections and Symmetry
Description:
In this lesson, one of a multipart unit from Illuminations, students learn the properties of designs that have bilateral symmetry. They also make their own designs and investigate dihedral symmetry.
Standard(s): [MA2015] (8) 19: Understand that a twodimensional figure is similar to another if the second can be obtained from the first by a sequence of rotations, reflections, translations, and dilations; given two similar twodimensional figures, describe a sequence that exhibits the similarity between them. [8G4]
Subject: Mathematics Title: Relationships Between Reflections and Symmetry
Description: In this lesson, one of a multipart unit from Illuminations, students learn the properties of designs that have bilateral symmetry. They also make their own designs and investigate dihedral symmetry. Thinkfinity Partner: Illuminations Grade Span: 9,10,11,12
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Title: Symmetries I
Description:
In this unit of four lessons, from Illuminations, investigate rotational symmetry. They learn about the mathematical properties of rotations and have an opportunity to make their own designs.
Standard(s): [MA2015] GEO (912) 14: Verify experimentally the properties of dilations given by a center and a scale factor. [GSRT1]
Subject: Mathematics Title: Symmetries I
Description: In this unit of four lessons, from Illuminations, investigate rotational symmetry. They learn about the mathematical properties of rotations and have an opportunity to make their own designs. Thinkfinity Partner: Illuminations Grade Span: 9,10,11,12
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Title: Symmetries II
Description:
In this unit of four lessons, from Illuminations, students use Java applets to investigate reflection, mirror, or bilateral symmetry. They learn about the mathematical properties of mirror symmetry and have a chance to create designs with mirror symmetry.
Standard(s): [MA2015] GEO (912) 16: Use the properties of similarity transformations to establish the angleangle (AA) criterion for two triangles to be similar. [GSRT3]
Subject: Mathematics Title: Symmetries II
Description: In this unit of four lessons, from Illuminations, students use Java applets to investigate reflection, mirror, or bilateral symmetry. They learn about the mathematical properties of mirror symmetry and have a chance to create designs with mirror symmetry. Thinkfinity Partner: Illuminations Grade Span: 9,10,11,12
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Title: Symmetries III
Description:
This lesson, from Illuminations, helps students to understand how translations work and what happens when two or more translations are applied one after the other. Students discover that all band ornaments have translational symmetry and all wallpaper patterns have translational symmetry in at least two directions.
Standard(s): [MA2015] MI1 (912) 9: Analyze works of visual art and architecture for mathematical relationships. (Alabama)
Subject: Mathematics Title: Symmetries III
Description: This lesson, from Illuminations, helps students to understand how translations work and what happens when two or more translations are applied one after the other. Students discover that all band ornaments have translational symmetry and all wallpaper patterns have translational symmetry in at least two directions. Thinkfinity Partner: Illuminations Grade Span: 9,10,11,12
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Title: Symmetries IV
Description:
This lesson, from Illuminations, helps students to understand and identify glide reflections. With the help of a Java applet, students construct glide reflections using a translation and a reflection. Students then identify glide reflections from groups of band ornaments and wallpaper patterns.
Standard(s): [MA2015] GEO (912) 12: Make formal geometric constructions with a variety of tools and methods such as compass and straightedge, string, reflective devices, paper folding, and dynamic geometric software. Constructions include copying a segment; copying an angle; bisecting a segment; bisecting an angle; constructing perpendicular lines, including the perpendicular bisector of a line segment; and constructing a line parallel to a given line through a point not on the line. [GCO12]
Subject: Mathematics Title: Symmetries IV
Description: This lesson, from Illuminations, helps students to understand and identify glide reflections. With the help of a Java applet, students construct glide reflections using a translation and a reflection. Students then identify glide reflections from groups of band ornaments and wallpaper patterns. Thinkfinity Partner: Illuminations Grade Span: 9,10,11,12
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Title: Blue Squares and Beyond
Description:
In this lesson, one of a multipart unit from Illuminations, students manipulate two rectangles to create examples of similarity and to study the effects on area ratios. Students sketch similar figures, verify proportionality, and apply these concepts to structures in their world.
Standard(s): [MA2015] (8) 19: Understand that a twodimensional figure is similar to another if the second can be obtained from the first by a sequence of rotations, reflections, translations, and dilations; given two similar twodimensional figures, describe a sequence that exhibits the similarity between them. [8G4]
Subject: Mathematics Title: Blue Squares and Beyond
Description: In this lesson, one of a multipart unit from Illuminations, students manipulate two rectangles to create examples of similarity and to study the effects on area ratios. Students sketch similar figures, verify proportionality, and apply these concepts to structures in their world. Thinkfinity Partner: Illuminations Grade Span: 6,7,8
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Title: Archimedes' Puzzle
Description:
In this lesson, students learn about the history of the Stomachion, an ancient tangramtype puzzle. Students use the puzzle pieces to create other figures, learn about symmetry and transformations and investigate the areas of the pieces.
Standard(s): [MA2015] (8) 19: Understand that a twodimensional figure is similar to another if the second can be obtained from the first by a sequence of rotations, reflections, translations, and dilations; given two similar twodimensional figures, describe a sequence that exhibits the similarity between them. [8G4]
Subject: Mathematics Title: Archimedes' Puzzle
Description: In this lesson, students learn about the history of the Stomachion, an ancient tangramtype puzzle. Students use the puzzle pieces to create other figures, learn about symmetry and transformations and investigate the areas of the pieces. Thinkfinity Partner: Illuminations Grade Span: 3,4,5,6,7,8
ALEX Podcasts
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Title: Basic Geometry
Overview:
This colorful podcast explores some of the basic concepts of geometry. Students will learn the difference between regular and irregular polygons, characteristicsof quadrilaterals, lines of symmetry, and congruence. Standard(s):
[MA2015] (8) 19: Understand that a twodimensional figure is similar to another if the second can be obtained from the first by a sequence of rotations, reflections, translations, and dilations; given two similar twodimensional figures, describe a sequence that exhibits the similarity between them. [8G4]
Basic Geometry Overview: This colorful podcast explores some of the basic concepts of geometry. Students will learn the difference between regular and irregular polygons, characteristicsof quadrilaterals, lines of symmetry, and congruence.
Thinkfinity Learning Activities
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Title: Cyclic Figures
Description:
Students will recognize rotation symmetry in figures and examining various rotation symmetries.
Standard(s): [MA2015] GEO (912) 6: Use geometric descriptions of rigid motions to transform figures and to predict the effect of a given rigid motion on a given figure; given two figures, use the definition of congruence in terms of rigid motions to decide if they are congruent. [GCO6]
Subject: Mathematics Title: Cyclic Figures
Description: Students will recognize rotation symmetry in figures and examining various rotation symmetries. Thinkfinity Partner: Illuminations Grade Span: 6,7,8
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Title: Dihedral Figures
Description:
Students will recognize dihedral symmetry and reflections in figures and examining various symmetries.
Standard(s): [MA2015] GEO (912) 15: Given two figures, use the definition of similarity in terms of similarity transformations to decide if they are similar; explain using similarity transformations the meaning of similarity for triangles as the equality of all corresponding pairs of angles and the proportionality of all corresponding pairs of sides. [GSRT2]
Subject: Mathematics Title: Dihedral Figures
Description: Students will recognize dihedral symmetry and reflections in figures and examining various symmetries. Thinkfinity Partner: Illuminations Grade Span: 6,7,8,9,10,11,12
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Title: Isometric Drawing Tool
Description:
Create dynamic drawings on isometric dot paper with this interactive tool. Draw 2D and 3D figures using edges, faces, or cubes that you can shift, rotate, color, or decompose.
Standard(s): [MA2015] GEO (912) 38: Identify the shapes of twodimensional crosssections of threedimensional objects, and identify threedimensional objects generated by rotations of twodimensional objects. [GGMD4]
Subject: Mathematics Title: Isometric Drawing Tool
Description: Create dynamic drawings on isometric dot paper with this interactive tool. Draw 2D and 3D figures using edges, faces, or cubes that you can shift, rotate, color, or decompose. Thinkfinity Partner: Illuminations Grade Span: 3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10,11,12
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Title: Understanding Congruence, Similarity, and Symmetry Using Transformations and Interactive Figures: Composing Reflections
Description:
This is part three of a fourpart eexample from Illuminations that features interactive figures that allow a user to manipulate a shape and observe its behavior under a particular transformation or composition of transformations. In this part, Composing Reflections, users can examine the result of reflecting a shape successively through two different lines. eMath Investigations are selected eexamples from the electronic version of the Principles and Standards for School Mathematics (PSSM). Given their interactive nature and focused discussion tied to the PSSM document, the eexamples are natural companions to the iMath Investigations.
Standard(s): [MA2015] GEO (912) 12: Make formal geometric constructions with a variety of tools and methods such as compass and straightedge, string, reflective devices, paper folding, and dynamic geometric software. Constructions include copying a segment; copying an angle; bisecting a segment; bisecting an angle; constructing perpendicular lines, including the perpendicular bisector of a line segment; and constructing a line parallel to a given line through a point not on the line. [GCO12]
Subject: Mathematics Title: Understanding Congruence, Similarity, and Symmetry Using Transformations and Interactive Figures: Composing Reflections
Description: This is part three of a fourpart eexample from Illuminations that features interactive figures that allow a user to manipulate a shape and observe its behavior under a particular transformation or composition of transformations. In this part, Composing Reflections, users can examine the result of reflecting a shape successively through two different lines. eMath Investigations are selected eexamples from the electronic version of the Principles and Standards for School Mathematics (PSSM). Given their interactive nature and focused discussion tied to the PSSM document, the eexamples are natural companions to the iMath Investigations. Thinkfinity Partner: Illuminations Grade Span: 6,7,8
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Title: Understanding Congruence, Similarity, and Symmetry Using Transformations and Interactive Figures: Composing Transformations
Description:
This is part four of a fourpart eexample from Illuminations that features interactive figures that allow a user to manipulate a shape and observe its behavior under a particular transformation or composition of transformations. In this part, Composing Transformations, the users are challenged to compose equivalent transformations in two different ways. eMath Investigations are selected eexamples from the electronic version of the Principles and Standards for School Mathematics (PSSM). Given their interactive nature and focused discussion tied to the PSSM document, the eexamples are natural companions to the iMath Investigations.
Standard(s): [MA2015] GEO (912) 12: Make formal geometric constructions with a variety of tools and methods such as compass and straightedge, string, reflective devices, paper folding, and dynamic geometric software. Constructions include copying a segment; copying an angle; bisecting a segment; bisecting an angle; constructing perpendicular lines, including the perpendicular bisector of a line segment; and constructing a line parallel to a given line through a point not on the line. [GCO12]
Subject: Mathematics Title: Understanding Congruence, Similarity, and Symmetry Using Transformations and Interactive Figures: Composing Transformations
Description: This is part four of a fourpart eexample from Illuminations that features interactive figures that allow a user to manipulate a shape and observe its behavior under a particular transformation or composition of transformations. In this part, Composing Transformations, the users are challenged to compose equivalent transformations in two different ways. eMath Investigations are selected eexamples from the electronic version of the Principles and Standards for School Mathematics (PSSM). Given their interactive nature and focused discussion tied to the PSSM document, the eexamples are natural companions to the iMath Investigations. Thinkfinity Partner: Illuminations Grade Span: 6,7,8
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Title: Fractal Tool
Description:
This student interactive, from Illuminations, illustrates iteration graphically. Students can view preset iterations of various shapes and/or choose to create their own iterations.
Standard(s): [MA2015] AL1 (912) 35: Write arithmetic and geometric sequences both recursively and with an explicit formula, use them to model situations, and translate between the two forms.* [FBF2]
Subject: Mathematics Title: Fractal Tool
Description: This student interactive, from Illuminations, illustrates iteration graphically. Students can view preset iterations of various shapes and/or choose to create their own iterations. Thinkfinity Partner: Illuminations Grade Span: 3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10,11,12

