Rotating Shapes

You can make an interesting design from one cut-out shape. Here's how:

 1) Draw a shape. It can be made of straight lines, curves, or a combination. 2) Cut out the shape.

3) On another sheet of paper, mark a small dot. All of your shapes will pivot around this point.

4) Place one point of the shape on the pivot point you have marked on the paper. Trace around the shape.

5) Rotate the shape to a new position, keeping the same point of the shape on the paper's pivot point. Trace around the shape again.

6) Continue rotating and tracing the shape until you have worked your way around the circle.

This design shows ten rotations of the yellow shape above.
You may space the shapes evenly around the pivot point or cluster them tightly in some places and more loosely in others. You may use a protractor to measure evenly-spaced angles if you wish to place the shapes precisely about the pivot point, or you may "eyeball" it.

Extra Challenge: You may even rotate two different shapes around the pivot point.

7) Color your design. You may color it so that the design will look the same from many different angles, or you may choose another color scheme.
If the design looks the same when it is rotated, it has rotational symmetry.
This sample is not colored symmetrically.
These two designs were created by students of Brian Lewis at Feagin Mill Middle School in Warner Robins, Georgia. Were one or two shapes used to create each design? Can you tell what shapes were used? Are the designs colored symmetrically? (Do the designs have rotational symmetry?)