Paper folding

It is possible to assess predictions at any year level, in oral, written or diagrammatic form. This activity allows students to cut simple or more complex patterns, to predict the results by description and/or drawings, and to prove they are right by unfolding the cut paper.

The students fold a sheet of paper using either one fold for Foundation students or more folds for older students. They then cut a shape from one of the edges. Older students could cut shapes from more than one edge.

Lines on a rectangle showing that it is to be folded in half and half again, to make a smaller rectangle. Then a triangular notch is cut out of one of the folded edges.

One example of paper folding.

Students then talk, write about or draw what the paper will look like when unfolded.

Students could be encouraged to talk about the number, shape, size and positions of the cut-outs.

The maturity of the descriptions should vary according to year level and relevant curriculum level.

The quality of the descriptions will also depend upon the clarity of the teacher's explanation and the modelling of the activity.

Curriculum links

Year 3: Identify symmetry in the environment

Year 4: Create symmetrical patterns, pictures and shapes with and without digital technologies

Year 5: Describe translations, reflections and rotations of two-dimensional shapes. Identify line and rotational symmetries

Year 7: Describe translations, reflections in an axis, and rotations of multiples of 90° on the Cartesian plane using coordinates. Identify line and rotational symmetries