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Butterfly Symmetry Painting

Source Institutions

    Oregon Museum of Science and Industry

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Butterfly Symmetry Painting

This activity (on page 3 of the PDF) has learners create models of butterfly wings. They are given pre-cut butterfly-shaped construction paper, tempera paint and eyedroppers, and they create butterfly wings by dropping paint on only one wing, folding it over and replicating the pattern or marking on the other. Voila! Butterfly symmetry. By reflecting on their memories or ideas of butterfly wings, learners focus on key aspects of their appearance: color, patterns, markings and symmetry.

Quick Guide

Preparation Time:
5 to 10 minutes

Learning Time:
10 to 30 minutes

Estimated Materials Cost:
1 cent - $1 per student

Age Range:
Ages 4 - 6

Resource Type:


Materials List (per student)

  • Construction paper, cut into butterfly shapes
  • Washable tempera paints in paint cups
  • Eyedroppers


  • Life Sciences
    • Diversity of Life
      • Animals
      • Biodiversity
  • Mathematics
    • Geometry
      • Plane Geometry

Informal Categories

  • Animals
  • Arts and Crafts


To use this activity, learners need to:

  • see
  • see color
  • touch

Learning styles supported:

  • Links STEM to other topics of interest such as arts and humanities
  • Involves hands-on or lab activities

Designed specifically for

  • Low literacy level


This resource is part of:

Access Rights:

  • Free access



  • All Rights Reserved, OMSI, ©2004


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