Alien Names

I thought I would get a so-so response to this lesson, but found that the students were delighted to see how 'alien-like' their names could be, and amazed at how different all their artwork was.
1. Give the students an 11" x 17" paper and ask them to fold it in half lengthwise. With the paper folded, they are to write their name in cursive, adjusting to fill the paper as much as possible. The bottoms of the letters should always touch the fold of the paper. Any descenders (such as the bottoms of g's, j's or y's) need to be ignored for this project.
2. I had the students go over the pencil lines with a large black Sharpie. If they also trace the backside, fold, and trace again on the remaining side, they will eventually have one side with reflecting names.
3. The fun part is to have students turn their drawings into some kind of creature. They can draw details with a thin marker and then color sections in with crayons. If a symmetry lesson is desired, tell the students that whatever color or pattern is made on one side, must also be done on the other.
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