Inversions Names Notes
Notes on a classroom handout
This image is available as a poster by Dale Seymour Publications. There are 26 first names here, one for each letter of the alphabet. Students enjoy looking for their own names or names of friends. Some names are written in capitals, some in small letters, and some are mixed. Each lettering style occurs exactly twice, once as a boy’s name and once as a girl’s name. Names that start with letters at opposite ends of the alphabet — ANNIE and ZANE, for instance — appear on opposite sides of the center of the design.
Every name is exactly symmetrical. Most have rotational symmetry, meaning that they look the same right side up Some have reflective symmetry, meaning that they look the same in a mirror. Sometimes the line of symmetry is horizontal; sometimes it is horizontal. Only the name OTTO has both rotational and reflective symmetry.
Some students will want to try making inversions out of their own names. Of course some names are easier to invert than others. If a first name doesn’t seem to work, suggest trying a nickname, a last name, or a friend’s name.
Here is a complete list of the names on the poster and their symmetries. “H Mirror” stands for “mirror reflection about a horizontal line” and “V Mirror” stands for “mirror reflection about a vertical line.” The hyphenation shows how letters are grouped. For instance, in the name ANNIE, the first letter A turns into the fifth letter E, but the second letter N does not turn into the fourth letter I: instead, the middle NNI makes one indivisble chunk.