MIRROR MAGIC – Pattern, Reflection, Angles

Children create modeling clay designs in front of two mirrors as they learn about reflection and angles.

Required Time

40 Minutes

Grade Level

Kindergarten to Grade 1


Language Arts
Visual Arts


angle pattern reflection shape


Crayola Modeling Clay - Variety of Colours Bristol Board - 30.5 cm x 30.5 cm (12" x 12") Small Mirrors - 30.5 cm x 30.5 cm (12" x 12") - 2 per student

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MIRROR MAGIC – Pattern, Reflection, Angles - Step One

Step One

  1. Press modeling clay along the bottom of the mirrors to keep them steady.
  2. Work in front of the mirrors.
  3. Make a design with shapes and patterns.
MIRROR MAGIC – Pattern, Reflection, Angles - Step Two

Step Two

  1. Look at the design in the mirrors.
    - How many reflections do you see?
    - How are they the same?
    - How are they different?
MIRROR MAGIC – Pattern, Reflection, Angles - Step Three

Step Three

  1. Add lots of details to your design.
  2. Make patterns.
  3. Mix colours.
  4. Tell a story with your design.
MIRROR MAGIC – Pattern, Reflection, Angles - Step Four

Step Four

  1. ​Look at your design from different angles.
    - Look down at it.
    - Look up at it.
    - Look at it from the side.
    - What do you see in the mirrors?
    - What does it remind you of?
    - How does it change when you look at it from a different angle?
  2. Give your artwork a name.

Learning Goals

Students will be able to:

  • create a modeling clay design in front of two mirrors;
  • create personal responses to the centre materials;
  • work independently and self-regulate;
  • ​share their learnings with peers; 
  • demonstrate a sense of accomplishment.


Math/Science Exploration Centre

  1. Set up a centre in your room where students can examine objects in front of 2 mirrors.
  2. Have students:
    - experiment with placing the mirrors at different angles to each other and then viewing objects to see how many reflections they see;
    - tally the number of reflections on a chart paper;
    - place different objects in front of the mirrors and draw what they see;
    - place a piece of paper in front of the mirrors and draw on it;
    - place paper shapes in front of the mirrors;
    - share their observations with their peers.


  1. Create a centre in your classroom with the following things:
    - different colours of modeling clay
    - sets of two mirrors taped together like a book and propped up at a 90° angle on a piece of Bristol board 
  2. Gather, and make available, books about shapes and patterns, for example, The Mandala Book: Patterns of the Universe, by Bailey Cunningham; Kids' Mandalas, by Arena Verlag; The Land of Shapes Vol 1: Circle Adopts a Pet, by Colin Michael McConnell; My Circle Book, by Agnese Baruzzi; Shadows and Reflections, by Tana Hoban; Math Counts: Shape, by Henry Arthur Pluckrose; Math Counts (Updated Edition): Pattern, by Henry Arthur Pluckrose.
  3. Gather a few small objects such as, shells, blocks, animals, and wooden shapes.


  1. Conduct a read-aloud with a wordless book such as Shadows and Reflections, by Tana Hoban.
  2. Focus on how reflections and shadows are the same and how they are different.
  3. Place a pair of mirrors taped together like a book and propped up at a 90° angle on the table.
  4. Invite student to create patterns with a few objects in the space in front of the mirrors.
  5. Ask students to view the pattern in the mirrors and talk about what they see.
  6. Identify the reflections and talk about angles. 
  7. Introduce the centre.
  8. Introduce the challenge.


The Challenge

  1. Use the modeling clay to create a design in front of the mirrors.
  2. Repeat shapes to make patterns.
  3. Make your design in your own creative and unique way.
  4. Explain how you made your artwork.

The Process

  1. Ensure that students understand the challenge.
  2. Establish success criteria with your students, for example,
    I know I am successful when I:
    - use my own ideas to make a design
    - repeat shapes to make patterns
    - explain how and why I made my art
  3. Guide students through the steps outlined in the lesson plan.
  4. Observe students as they work.
  5. Provide individual assistance and encouragement.


  1. Gather students to view and discuss their art. Ask students to share:
    what they learned about making a design with modeling clay
    - what they learned about reflections

    - what they like best about their artworks
  2. Display pictures of the artworks in the classroom.
  3. Encourage students to view the artworks and notice how they used the modeling clay in different ways.


  1. Observe students as they work – thoughtful focus, discriminating, seeking more information, elaborating, experimenting.
  2. Observe students as they discuss their artworks – speaks with a clear voice, looks at audience while speaking, holds artwork to the side, provides accurate information, answers questions from the audience effectively.
  3. Observe students as they listen – looks at presenter, asks effective questions, supports ideas with evidence found in the artwork.
  4. Use a checklist to track progress. (Downloads - MirrorMagic_tracking.pdf)
  5. Have grade one students use the self-assessment form to evaluate their work. (Downloads - MirrorMagic_self-assessment)