# The Symbolic Language of Architecture and Public Monuments

## Colors, Shapes, and Spaces in the Most Important Places

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## Lesson Plan Three

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Objectives
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To become familiar with the concept of symmetry. To make symmetric figures and patterns. To view slides of Islamic design noting how symmetry is employed.

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Goal
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To better understand the role that symmetry plays in Islamic design.

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Materials
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Slides taken from the teacher’s packet entitled “The Mathematics of Islamic Art,” construction paper, ruler, scissors, pencils, crayons, 1-inch square graph paper, tempera paint, paintbrushes, and pattern blocks.

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Procedures
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- 1. To familiarize the students with the concept of symmetry, begin with a display of four half-completed shapes on the blackboard.

*(figure available in print form)*

- ____ Ask individuals to come up and draw in the other half of each shape. Refer to the broken line as the line of symmetry. Display the following objects or enlarged pictures of them: a sandwich, a butterfly, a spoon, and a leaf and point out that each has two matching parts. Have the students imagine and then indicate (or draw in) the line of symmetry going down the center of each.
- 2. Cut out a square from construction paper and draw a line down the center. How can we check if the two sides match? Fold it to demonstrate. Have students work in pairs. Each pair is provided with a square of construction paper which they fold in half. Instruct them to cut out a figure that begins and ends at the fold line. Before unfolding it, have them try to predict what each whole figure will look like. Then unfold them.
- 3. Each pair of students is given a piece of 1-inch square graph paper with a dark line cutting the paper in half. One partner colors some of the squares on one side of the line. Then the other partner colors the other half matching the squares. One row is colored at a time. Point out the symmetry of these patterns.

*(figure available in print form)*

- 4. Have students create symmetrical patterns using a mat with a line down the center and pattern blocks. Students put blocks on one side of the line and then they add blocks to the other side to make the model symmetrical.
- 5. Each student is given a square piece of white construction paper. They are instructed to fold it in half. They are them to put some blobs of tempera paint on one side of the fold line. The paper is then folded once more and they rub it lightly. When it is opened, it shows lovely symmetrical designs.
- 6. End this lesson with a viewing of a series of slides of Islamic design. Point out the ways in which they are symmetrical.