Education, Teaching & Design


Added on by leigh mckolay.

Lesson Objectives:
Students will create works of art using organizational principles to achieve the desired effect of a snowflake.
Students will be introduced to the science of snowflakes: While no two snowflakes are the same, they are symmetrical and hexagonal. Students will be able to demonstrate symmetry in their creations.

*Click here for the link to the PDF.

Here is a cool snowflake video:

Oregon State Standards
Create, present and perform works of art.


 AR.03.CP.01 Use experiences, imagination, essential elements and organizational principles to achieve a desired effect when creating, presenting and/or performing works of art.

 3.1 Structure and Function: Living and non-living things vary in their characteristics

and properties.

Materials Needed:

Overhead projector

Power Point presentation or some way of displaying symmetrical objects

Coffee filters (white, basket filters)/class set

Cupcake liners (multi colored pink/blue/yellow/white)/class set

Scissors (class set)

Lesson Procedure:


“Hi class, today we will be exploring some science and math concepts in our art lesson.

We will be looking at snowflakes!

Look at the picture… This is a very magnetized view of a snowflake. Pretty cool huh?

Before we go any further we need to explore a concept. The word symmetry, does anyone know what this means?

It means that something is the same on both sides.

We see symmetry every day but often don’t realize it. People use concepts of symmetry as part of their careers, like artists, craftspeople, musicians and mathematicians.

Body of Lesson:

Let me read you the definition: Symmetry is the identical reflection of two sides. In order to be symmetrical, the right side of the pattern or object is exactly the same as the left side of the pattern or object.

Let’s look at some examples of symmetrical objects: (view slides 3 and 4/an image of a butterfly and geometric shapes with dividing lines of symmetry).

Here is a fact:


Who knew snowflakes had anything to do with math?” 

View slides 5-8 (pictures of macro snowflakes).

On slide 8:

“Though no two snowflakes are identical, they do have something in common. Can anyone tell me what they observe about the snowflakes in the picture? Do you see any similarities? “

Take class answers.

They should come to the conclusion that all snowflakes are symmetrical and all are hexagonal (have six arms/sides).

“That’s right! They are all symmetrical! AND they all are hexagonal. What does hexagonal mean?”

Take class answers.

“How many sides does a hexagon have? Six, right. Let’s count the sides of the snowflakes in our pictures… how many arms do you see? Right six… do you see why we call the snowflake hexagonal?

Ok, let’s watch a little movie of all sorts of different snowflakes!”

Watch movie of macro snowflakes. 

“Let’s make our own snowflakes!!!!
Here are our steps:

Step 1

Grab a coffee filter from the center of your table.

Step 2

Follow my folding instructions! Look at me!

Demonstrate this folding technique:

*Question: “What does it mean when we fold the filter into “sixths”?”

Demonstrate cutting a snowflake.


Demonstrate another fold (where you fold the cone shape once again and cut out the open portion of what looks like a taco… slice from the top of the open taco to the bottom, cutting out a scalloped portion of the edge. It will create an effect that looks like this:

Step 3

“Is everyone clear?

Ok try out the folding and cutting!

I’ll leave the little diagram up on the screen… “

“It’s ok if your folds are not perfect. You are new at this. Try your best. In the end we are looking for what?”

“Symmetry yes! And?

Hexagonal snowflakes! Right!

Step 4

“Ok! I have seen some of your snowflakes! They are so beautiful! Do you see how each cut you make creates a different pattern? Do you notice, that though you cut a different pattern the snowflake is still symmetrical?

If you would like to move on to a cupcake liner they are on Mt. Hood (table).”

Keep cutting!”


“OK class! We have about 6 minutes left… make your last cuts! This should take just a few seconds… ok!

Stop cutting!

Please put your scissors in the scissor bin. Throw away all scraps on your tables and on the floor!

Put your name on your snowflakes! Feel free to take your snowflakes home and decorate!”


I will know the students have accomplished the objective of the lesson through their piece of artwork.

Are the shapes symmetrical? Do the snowflakes have six sides/six arms?

You must select a collection to display.