Sponge art transformations – Stage 1
This is a thinking mathematically targeted teaching opportunity focussed on exploring flipping, sliding and turning squares to create a sponge painting.
Adapted from youcubed.
Syllabus outcomes and content descriptors from Mathematics K–10 Syllabus © NSW Education Standards Authority (NESA) for and on behalf of the Crown in right of the State of New South Wales, 2021.
You will need:
sponges to cut up
3 different coloured paints
3 bowls (or containers to put the paint in)
2 sheets of paper per sponge.
Watch Sponge art transformations Stage 1 video (11:01).
[Text over a navy-blue background: Sponge art transformations. Smaller text in brackets beneath reads: (Stage 1). Beneath this, text reads: From youcubed. Small font text in the bottom left-hand corner reads: NSW Mathematics Strategy Professional Learning (NSWMS PL team). In the lower right-hand corner is the red waratah of the NSW Government logo. ]
Today we'll be creating some sponge art transformations using a task from youcubed.
[Text on a white background reads: You will need…
- Sponges to cut up
- 3 different coloured paints
- 3 bowls (or containers to put the pain in)
- 2 sheets of paper for each design.
To the right of the text is an image of 2 horizontal pieces of paper placed beside each-other, with a pair of orange handled scissors on the right. Above the pieces of paper are 3 bowls, they are orange, blue and pink. The orange bowl has a dollop of yellow paint in it, the blue bowl has a red dollop of paint in it, and the pink bowl has a blue dollop of paint in it. To the right of these bowls are 3 square pieces of pink sponge.]
For this activity, you will need scissors, sponges to cut up, three different coloured paints, three bowls or containers to put the paint in, two sheets of paper for each design.
[Text on a blue background reads: Let’s create.]
[2 horizontal pieces of paper sit beside each-other. Each piece of paper has 2 horizontal creases creating 3 even rows. Above the pieces of paper are 3 bowls, they are orange, blue and pink. The orange bowl has a dollop of yellow paint in it, the blue bowl has a red dollop of paint in it, and the pink bowl has a blue dollop of paint in it. To the right of these bowls are 3 square pieces of pink sponge.]
Hey, mathematicians, we thought we'd make some wrapping paper today. So, we've got three different coloured paints and three different coloured sponges that we've cut up from some that we found in the kitchen and we're going to use them today to see what kind of designs we can make on our paper here.
[The speaker picks up the 3 pieces of sponge from the right-hand side of the bowls and transfers them to the left-hand side of the bowls.]
So, let's dip our sponge in the paint.
[The speaker dips one of the pieces of sponge in the yellow paint.]
Let's soak it up, and we are going to try and make a print with our square.
[The speaker presses the sponge into the left-hand side of the top row of the piece of paper on the left, creating a yellow square.]
Give it a good squish down and peel it off. The first print we're going to make is by sliding along. OK, slide it along and print it down.
[Immediately to the right of the initial yellow square, the speaker presses down the sponge, creating another yellow square.]
Mathematicians call this action of sliding, we call that translating. We can translate our square all the way along the page. Might get a little bit more paint to make a really nice design on our wrapping paper.
[Using the sponge, the speaker paints two more yellow squares, filling the top row.]
Oh, look at that. I wonder what other designs we can make by sliding our paint across the page.
[The speaker dips the sponge in yellow paint.]
So, let's get a little bit more paint and slide our square another way, we'll translate it. What if I put my square down here? I wonder what shape it will make if I slide it along without lifting it off the page.
[The speaker places the sponge down on the top left-hand corner of the right-hand piece of paper.]
Let's see what we can find. So, I'm going to squish it down and I'm going to slide all the way along the page.
[The speaker slides the sponge across the top of the page, resulting in a yellow painted line.]
Oh, wow, look at that. That's nice, but I didn't get much paint on there, so let's get that on there and let's see what shape we've made. And look at that, isn't that amazing? We've made a rectangle by translating or sliding the square all the way along the page. Alright, let's see what other shapes we can make by moving the square in different directions.
[The speaker dips a second sponge into the red paint.]
Let's see what happens.
[The speaker places the sponge down on the left-hand piece of paper beneath the first yellow square.]
So, this time we slid across the paper and slid in one big movement. But this time I think we might try and see what happens when we turn our shape.
[The speaker removes the sponge, leaving a red square. She then turn the sponge and places it down over the top of the square.]
Look at that, if I turn it anticlockwise or to the left and print it down.
[The speaker removes the sponge, revealing a square with a turned square painted over it.]
Look what shape I can make. Can you see that?
Yeah. It looks like a star.
Oh, let's see what else I can make by turning my square.
[The speaker presses the sponge down to the right of the star-shape, painting a red square.]
So, I'll print but this time I might turn it clockwise a quarter of a turn.
[The speaker turns the sponge clock-wise and places it down over the square.]
Look at that. I wonder what shape it's gonna look like when I pick it up after turning my square, and look at that.
[The speaker lifts the sponge, revealing a square shape.]
This time I've made a square. I'm gonna get a little bit more paint. I'm going to print down my square again and this time we're going to turn it again.
[The speaker dips the sponge in the red paint and presses it down to the right-hand side of the previous square.]
And now we can use a mathematical term for turning as well. We can call that rotate. So, I'm going to rotate my shape. Now, this time on this one over here, I did it anti-clockwise.
[The speaker points to the first shape In the line, the star shape.]
I wonder if I can make the same shape by turning it clockwise.
[The speaker turns the sponge clock-wise and presses it down.]
And look at that, by just doing a small turn, we can make our star shape by rotating this square.
[The speaker lifts the sponge, revealing a star shape.]
Alright and then let's go back to, I think, making my square, 'cause I think that looks like a really nice wrapping paper going star, square, star, square.
[The speaker points to the red square shape, then presses the sponge down to the right of her previously painted star shape.]
I think it's really interesting that when I turn my sponge a little bit, I can print a star, but when I turn it a quarter turn anticlockwise or a quarter turn clockwise, I end up with a square again.
[Hovering the sponge over the newly painted red square, the speaker quarter turns the sponge anti-clockwise and then anti-clockwise, and presses it down. She lifts the sponge, revealing a square.]
Look at the shapes I can make from rotating my square.
[The speaker squirts more red paint into the blue bowl.]
But I'm wondering, when I slid my yellow square across the page, I got this big long rectangle here, and I'm wondering what shape will I make when I turn my sponge a half turn, keeping it on the page.
[Using her fingers, the speaker outlines the yellow rectangle at the top of the right-hand piece of paper.]
What do we get when I turn my square?
[The speaker presses the sponge dipped in red paint beneath and to the left of the yellow rectangle. She then turns the sponge.]
Oh, look at that. It almost looks like a circle. Let's try again and get a bit more paint. Let's turn my square.
[The speaker presses the sponge into the paper, to the right of the previous circle shape, and turns it.]
And there it is, another circle. And let's turn.
[She repeats the same process to the right of the previous circle shape.]
Oh, look at all these different shapes I can make with just one square. Alright, so, I've got one more row here.
[Using her finger, the speaker outlines the two rows of shapes across both pieces of paper.]
I've done sliding and one big slide. We've tried rotating or turning. I'm wondering maybe if this time I might be able to make some different shapes by flipping. Now, I know by flipping, I'm going to be flipping my blue square all the way over.
[The speaker dips a piece of sponge into the blue paint, then flips it and dips the other side.]
So, I'm gonna need paint on both sides. I think this one's gonna get a little bit messy. Might even need some more paint, we'll see how we go. Squidge it all up. Look at that. OK, let's see.
[The speaker presses down the sponge covered in blue paint in the bottom left-hand corner of the left-hand piece of paper.]
Let's place it down. And let's flip over the square.
[The speaker flips the sponge, continuing along the same row.]
Squidge it down and flip. Now, we call this flipping movement reflecting.
[The speaker flips the sponge again, continuing along the row.]
We're reflecting our square across the page. One more.
[The speaker flips the sponge again, completing the row on the left-hand piece of paper.]
Oh, look at that. As I reflected my square across the page, the shape stayed the same. Alright, so let's see what happens. When I slid my yellow square across, I got the rectangle.
[Using her hand, the speaker outlines the yellow rectangle at the top of the right-hand piece of paper.]
When I rotated the red square, we ended up with a circle.
[The speaker makes a rotating motion with her hand over the shape of the first red circle.]
What do you think we're gonna end up with as we try to flip our square? Let's see.
[The speaker presses the sponge covered in blue paint in the lower left-hand corner of the right-hand piece of paper. She then flips it and presses it down in the same spot again.]
And if I flip it and put it back in the same spot, I still end up with a square. I flip it and I put it back in the same spot. I flip it, put back in the same spot.
[The speaker continues the press, flip, press process along the same row twice more, resulting in two more squares.]
Look at that, stays a square. So, let's have a look at what we made when we were putting our wrapping paper together today.
[The speaker sticks a pink note to the left of the row of yellow shapes.]
We used a sliding movement to print the squares across the page and a big long rectangle as we slid it right across. So, let's write slide for these ones here.
[Using a black texter, the speaker writes ‘slide’ on the sticky note.]
And now remember, we used that really great mathematical word, and I'm gonna write that underneath to help us remember, and it was translate.
[The speaker writes ‘translate’ beneath the word ‘slide’.]
When we were playing with the red shape, we were turning the shape to make the star and turning it a bit more to make it square again.
[The speaker sticks a pink note to the left of the row of red shapes.]
Let's write turn for this one, and we can call that also rotate so we remember.
[The speaker writes ‘turn’ on the sticky note. Beneath ‘turn’ she writes ‘rotate’.]
So, we rotated it anticlockwise to make the star and we rotated it to the right and made a square and then we rotated it clockwise to make another star.
[Using her hand, the speaker makes a turning gesture above the star shapes.]
We also turned it all the way round on itself to make a circle.
[Using her hand, the speaker makes a turning gesture above the circular shapes.]
And this last one down here, the blue one, this is where we were working on using flipping.
[The speaker sticks a pink note to the left of the row of blue shapes. She writes ‘flipping’ on it.]
So, we flipped the shape and we can call that also reflect.
[The speaker writes ‘reflect’ beneath the word ‘flip’.]
Did you notice that when we reflected the blue square, we ended up with the same shape all the way along? And I think it's really interesting that through turning or rotating, we can make a star, a square, and even a circle when we left it on the page.
[The speaker points to a red star shape, a red square shape and a red circle shape.
On a new slide, text on a blue background reads: What’s (some of) the mathematics?]
What's some of the mathematics?
[Text on a white background reads: Mathematicians use words such as flip, slide and turn or reflect, translate and rotate to tell us how shapes move. We can think about the words to help us remember their meaning.
- Fun fact: the word rotate comes from a Latin word, that means turn in a circle. When we rotated our sponge a half-turn we created a circle.
Beneath this text is an image of all the shapes painted by the speaker, and the 3 sticky notes, the first reading: ‘slide’, and beneath, ‘translate’. The second reading: ‘turn’, and beneath, ‘rotate’. And the third reading: ‘flip’, and beneath, ‘reflect’.]
Mathematicians use words such as flip, slide and turn, or reflect, translate and rotate, to tell us how shapes move. We can think about the words to help us remember their meaning.
Did you know that the word rotate comes from a Latin word that means "turn in a circle"? When we rotated our sponge today a half turn, we actually created a circle.
[Text on a blue background reads: Over to you to investigate what's the same and different as you rotate, reflect and translate your sponges. ]
Over to you to investigate what's the same and different as you rotate, reflect and translate your sponges. Have fun getting creative as you design your own wrapping paper. Remember to ask for some help when cutting up some sponges.
[Over a grey background, the red waratah of the NSW Government logo appears amongst red, white and blue circles. Text: Copyright State of New South Wales (Department of Education), 2021.]
[End of transcript.]
- Ask an adult for some help to cut up some sponges and to put some different coloured paints in bowls.
- Let's make some wrapping paper!
- Use one of your sponges to print shapes on your paper.
- Try sliding, turning and flipping your sponge to see if you can make some new shapes. Remember when flipping you’ll need to paint your sponge on both sides to create a print.
After you have created your wrapping paper choose some of the following questions to explore:
- What shapes can you make when you turn your sponge?
- Think about, what shapes do you print when you turn your sponge just a little bit? What shapes do you print when you turn your sponge more
- Will turning your sponge clockwise or anti-clockwise make a difference to your print?
- Describe what you print when you flip your sponge.
Let's investigate further
Investigate how moving your sponge in different directions using quarter, half and full turns changes the print on the paper.
Which movement (slide, turn or flip) made the most number of shapes?
Create a picture of an animal using the flip, slide and turn movements?