Once your students have had lots of time to explore symmetry with hands-on experiences, try the pumpkin mixup activity below.
Introduce the concept and vocabulary of symmetry to kids as they cut, match and glue the pumpkins together.
Download the Halloween math pages below to give students practice matching similar shapes. You can also use them to create simple pumpkin puzzles for the children to put together.
Cut the pumpkins in half for younger children and into 4 for older ones (see puzzle image below)
Getting started – noticing similarities
- Draw two similar pumpkin shapes with a line drawn through the center of them on large sheets of orange construction paper.
- Ask the students what shapes they can see on the pumpkins’ faces (rectangles, circles…)
- Cut the two pumpkins in half (see image) and mix them up.
- Ask the kids how they know which two pieces go together.
- They will usually say something like, “They are the same.”
- Ask them to tell you how they are the same and encourage them to use math terms such as circle shapes, rectangle shapes, etc.
Tell the students that if the eyes, nose and mouth of each sides of the pumpkin are the same and if the pumpkin halves are the same, then we call them symmetrical. The purpose here is to introduce the term, not have children memorize it.
Using the worksheets
Use the free Halloween math worksheets to create matching pumpkins for a Halloween math center or for individual student art projects.
Download the Halloween math worksheets shown below. Instructions are included to use the worksheets for centers and for individual student work.