Introduction: Creative Congruency Magnets

This hands-on visual activity is one where students are able to create a basic shape using modeling clay that utilizes the concept of congruency.  Congruency is the math concept of dividing a shape into equal (matching) parts.  Students will find this project engaging because they are encouraged to use their creativity while being able to work with different materials (not your everyday paper, scissors, and glue project).  This activity is simple and fun!

Step 1: Materials Needed

- Modeling clay (Crayola Air-Dry Modeling Clay)
- Plastic child safe cutting utensils (Kiddi Kutter)
- Food coloring
- Paint (Tempera, acrylic, watercolor, etc.)
- Paint brushes
- Magnets
- Scissors
- Glue
- Ruler
- Pieces of cardboard to work on
- Rubber or latex gloves
- Aprons

Step 2: Procedure

1) Flatten out ball of modeling clay
2) Using a ruler measure and outline the shape being made
3) Using a cutting utensil cut the shape out of the clay
4) Decorate/paint the shape (let dry before moving on)
5) Take measurements of the shape and accurately cut it in half (you now have 2 equal pieces)
6) Remeasure each half and accurately cut each half in half (you now have 4 equal pieces)
7) Cut magnets to fit each piece
8) Glue magnets onto the back of each piece (give time to dry)

Step 3: Tips & Tricks

Since the clay takes a little while to dry it's best to wait until the pieces are unable to be bent to add the magnets.  I found that when I added the magnets the clay was still not dry and the pieces lost their shape a little.  When doing this project have students either make squares, rectangles, or circles since they are easier to measure to divide in half and then in half again.  Another tip is if you are able to use a stronger glue (stronger than Elmer's) then do so because Elmer's glue took a little longer to dry than rubber cement or super glue would.

Step 4: Lesson Plan & Rubric