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    Howard Hughes Medical Institute

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This mirror-tracing activity related to proprioception is a visual and motor test that involves learning a new motor skill. The task requires learners to move a pencil to trace the diagram of a star while looking at their hand only as a reflection in a mirror. Learners will practice this skill 10 times each day for 3 consecutive days. Learners will calculate and record how long it takes them do each tracing as well as count their errors. Learners will create a report of their findings. This lesson guide includes the pattern-tracing sheet and practice sheet.

Quick Guide

Preparation Time:
Under 5 minutes

Learning Time:
1 to 7 days

Estimated Materials Cost:
1 cent - $1 per student

Age Range:
Ages 11 - 18

Resource Types:
Activity, Experiment/Lab Activity, Lesson/Lesson Plan


Materials List (per student)

  • 30 star pattern-tracing sheets
  • Practice-tracing sheet for use without a mirror
  • A mirror
  • Cardboard to block direct viewing of your hand when tracing
  • A pencil for tracing and recording your results
  • A clock, watch, or stopwatch for keeping time (measures seconds)
  • Tape to hold the paper in place while tracing


  • Life Sciences
    • Human Body
      • The Brain and Nervous System
      • Muscles and Skin
    • Human Senses and Perception
      • Vision
      • Perception
  • Mathematics
    • Data Analysis and Probability
      • Data Analysis
      • Data Collection
      • Data Representation
  • The Nature of Science
    • The Scientific Process
      • Conducting Investigations
      • Gathering Data
      • Formulating Explanations
      • Communicating Results


To use this activity, learners need to:

  • see
  • touch

Learning styles supported:

  • Involves hands-on or lab activities


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Access Rights:

  • Free access



  • All Rights Reserved, Howard Hughes Medical Institute, ©2008


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