3rd Grade Reflection Names

This project has gone through a few changes - I started it a couple of years ago and was never really happy with how it turned out, until now.

Most years I have the kids decorate their letters instead of the background - but their letters often ended up narrow and small leaving LARGE open, untouched, white spaces.  This year I opted to have them leave their letters white - AMAZING difference.

Here is how we did them.
1) Fold 9 x 12 paper in half hot dog style.
2) Leave folded and draw name in BIG bubble letters -- normal or funky (using different kinds of lines)
3) Sharpie trace name.
4) Go to window/light table and place NAME on surface so the blank side is facing you.
5) Trace name through paper using a pencil - name will be backwards - it's okay, it should be. (this is the hardest part for students to do - it is hard for them to do it backwards)
6) Sharpie backwards name.  (you could skip the pencil on the backwards name, but 3rd graders tend to sneeze or bump each other and want to start over.)
7) Pick ONE side of paper and use a black oil pastel to draw SIMPLE designs.
8) Fold paper backwards so that the names touch each other.
9) RUB paper while folded - rub hard.
10) Open.  The oil pastel will transfer lightly to the other side - trace these marks with black oil pastel.
11) Time to color.  I tell the student to turn their paper vertical/portrait style.  It tricks their brain into see the patterns they drew instead of their names.  Then I tell them to start at the fold and work their way out.  Whatever they do to one side of the fold needs to be done to the other side.
12) Continue till finished!

These took use about 3 50 minutes classes.  We talked a lot about reflections -what they are, where we see them, how they work - why when we look in the mirror the words on our shirt look backwards - etc.

The kids had to trust the instructions on this proceses, as many of them couldn't visualize where it was headed.  When it was done or close to be done they were mesmerized and thrilled at the results (I was too).

This project is great at the beginning of the year because it helps me to re-learn names, see how they have grown over the summer, and how our year will go.

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