The following is a Geometry & Spatial Sense unit which addresses the grade 8 curriculum expectation of identifying, through investigation, real-world movements that are translations, reflections, and rotations, which would help students to appreciate how mathematics is visually represented around us. The activity can be accessed at the following link:
One particularly engaging lesson which makes cross-curricular connections with visual arts is the Day 10 Lesson, “Please Move”. The lesson could be started by reviewing the definitions of translation, reflection, and rotation. Then have students work in groups and assign each group member to a specific learning center, each having an image of natural or decorative transformations (e.g., wallpaper, textiles, tiles, brickwork) where students will investigate and describe, in mathematical terms, the movement of the figures. To consolidate the lesson, have students return to their original group and share with other group members their findings. As a home activity, ask students to name and describe two examples of transformations they can see in (or near) their own homes.
By the end of this lesson, students will realize how transformations (and geometry, in general) can help them to design and create things, as well as have a better understanding of the world around them.