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Maple Math and Symmetry

Updated on January 3, 2014

Using Maple Leaves to Discover Line Symmetry in Nature

Look at this beautiful collage of a Maple Leaf with buttons on softly colored paper.

The leaf was cut in half at the line of symmetry.

The buttons are also arranged with three on each side of the Maple Leaf also creating a symmetrical pattern.

The colors of the paper are opposite from one side to the other thus making them asymmetrical.

In this lens Maple Math lens we will be learning about Symmetry while using Maple Leaves to display our findings in an artistic way.

Come look for the symmetry in the Maple Leaves...

Photo Credit: The Remembrancer: Button Up by Cat Sidh

on Flickr, Creative Commons.

Symmetry in Nature

Collect some Maple Leaves and look for the line of symmetry.

Are your Maple Leaves Symetric? - Defining Symetry and Applying it to Maple Leaves

Photo Credit: Asymmetric

Used under creative commons

Symmetry generally conveys two primary meanings.

The first is an imprecise sense of harmonious or aesthetically pleasing proportionality and balance on either side of an axis; For example, Aristotle ascribed spherical shape to the heavenly bodies, attributing this formally defined geometric measure of symmetry to the natural order and perfection of the cosmos. such that it reflects beauty or perfection.

The second meaning is a precise and well-defined concept of balance or "patterned self-similarity" that can be demonstrated or proved according to the rules of a formal system: by geometry, through physics or otherwise.

See the rest of the article about Symmetry

on Wikipedia.

Maple Leaf Math - Autumn Math Lessons in Symmetry

Autum Maple Leaf Collage
Autum Maple Leaf Collage

Photo Credit: The Remembrancer: Button Up by Cat Sidh

on Flickr, Creative Commons.

Use Symmetry to Create a Maple Leaf College - How can you use your knowledge of math to describe your Maple Leaf College?

Go on a field trip to collect Maple Leaves. When you come back inside, use those leaves to create a collage. Think about what you have learned about symmetry and numbers to describe your artwork.

In Look What I Did with a Leaf! the author invites us to see how leaves can be transformed into amazing collages. Be sure to look for lines of symmetry in the leaves. Can you find any Maple Leaves?

Look What I Did with a Leaf! (Naturecraft)
Look What I Did with a Leaf! (Naturecraft)

A unique combination of nature craft, art theory, and field guide, .

Step-by-step how-to information for readers to assemble their own masterpieces.

An explanation and diagram of the life cycle of a leaf, and a simple field guide that identifies the samples used in the models.

This will work beautifully with a science lesson that includes an outdoor trek and art project


Hunting the Hidden Dimension - NOVA program about Fractals

Not Symmetrical but not quite Asymmetrical, what are fractals?

What do clouds, stalks of broccoli, and the rhythm of your heart have in common? Fractals – the irregular, repeating shapes that are found almost everywhere in nature, but whose governing principles were considered beyond the limits of our mathematical understanding well into the 20th century.

Maple Math

Writing about Math

Come write about maple trees and natural symmetry on Wizzley, a fun and easy place to express your opinion:

How have you used maple leaves to teach math?

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    • theholidayplace profile image

      theholidayplace 5 years ago

      no but now i know how useful they are, thanks

    • rwoman profile image

      rwoman 7 years ago

      I was just watching a TV special about fractals. I think it was on PBS. You should check it out. I was fascinated by all the implications in all walks of life!

    • ElizabethJeanAl profile image

      ElizabethJeanAl 8 years ago

      Cool lens! What a great way to teach the concept of symmetry.

      Thanks for sharing.


    • profile image

      WhitePineLane 8 years ago

      What an great lens and an excellent idea for teaching symmetry. I just love the way your mind works, Evelyn! There are teaching/learning opportunities all around us. It doesn't have to be dry and boring.

    • evelynsaenz1 profile image

      Evelyn Saenz 8 years ago from Royalton

      [in reply to OhMe] I know what you mean. That is one of the things that drew me to that collage. Then I started to think about how to use it in a math lesson. Children just get drawn into math when it is combined with something as beautiful as this Symetrical Math College.

    • OhMe profile image

      Nancy Tate Hellams 8 years ago from Pendleton, SC

      I love that the colors in the Maple Leaf collage coordinate so well with the Rocket Moms Template. Beautiful and makes an excellent lesson on symmetry and an excellent lens.