Year 3

Mathematics Support Materials

Mathematics snapshot: Symmetry in art

Mathematics/Measurement and Geometry/Location and transformation

Content Description Relevant aspects of the Achievement Standards

Identify symmetry in the environment (ACMMG066)

Students identify symmetry in the environment.

Nature of the assessment

Teacher observation of the application of a mathematical concept within an art lesson.

Purpose of the assessment

To check students’ understanding of symmetry

Stage of the teaching sequence

Start of a lesson to check prior understanding.

Assessment task

  • The teacher had planned an art lesson to teach students that sometimes artists create balance and order in their designs. She used the art context to assess students’ understanding of symmetry.
  • The teacher held up images of various objects.
  • The students were required to decide if the object had a symmetrical or asymmetrical design. Students identified horizontal and/or vertical lines of symmetry on the designs they decided were symmetrical.
  • The students recorded their response by drawing either a horizontal or vertical line on a mini-board or they left their board blank if the object had an asymmetrical design. 


The teacher made a note of those students who did not give many correct responses. 

Using the information

The teacher used this information to refocus her art lesson and teach her students more about symmetry. She also used the information to guide her teaching of symmetry in the mathematics context.