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Left and Right, Is It as Easy as It Seems?

In today’s post, I am going to show you how to learn to distinguish between left and right, as well as some Smartick activities to practice these concepts. It is a simple concept but can be complicated, let’s see why.

Left and Right

They can be represented graphically:

Is very easy this way, right?

At Smartick, before presenting left – right activities, students see an interactive tutorial allowing them to understand these concepts better.

In the first activities, we offer the added support of audio to reinforce the concepts of left and right. For example, in this exercise, if you click on the banana or the basket a recording will play that identifies if the option selected is on the right or left.

The basket is on the right.

There are also other activities in which you associate left or right with the direction to which the image is facing, they are also supported with recordings that identify the options.

The superhero is going to the right.

Later on, we move on to directly asking which of the drawings is to the left or to the right of a reference point.

The watermelon is to the right.

Or which is facing the right or left of the student completing the exercise.

The image to the right is facing the right.

And in this last exercise is where the key to understanding is where things begin to get complicated.

Left and Right from another point of view

From our point of view, it is very clear which is left and which is right. But what about when we talk about right and left from the point of view of another person? In this case, it depends on the person’s position with respect to us.

In order to try it, we are going to use colored gloves. Let’s imagine a pink glove on the left hand and a yellow glove on the right hand.

left and right

When two people look in the same direction, their right and left sides coincide. We are going to observe what happens when they both raise their left hand.

Right and left are on the same sides for both of them. 

However, when they are looking in opposite directions, facing each other, their right and left sides do not coincide. We are going to see what happens when they both raise their right hand.

What one considers right, the other does not. I would seem that what is right for one, is left for the other.

left and right

Right and left are on opposite sides for each of them.

These images were taken from the interactive tutorial that Smartick students can complete in order to understand left and right depending on the point of view. We are implementing more activities so students can understand this topic more thoroughly.

An example is an exercise where we can select the objects that are to the right or left of one of the Smartick characters. They can appear facing the student or with their back to them. This way the character’s right and left varies depending on their position with respect to the student.

left and right

Left and Right in Coding

The interactive tutorials and activities about right and left can help when students are completing Coding sessions. Here it is important to know which is the left and which is the right from the robot, Robby’s, point of view.

We will have to consider which is left and which is right for him, making a prediction about what his position will be in relation to us.

left and right

If you would like to know more about geometry and other math content, log on to Smartick and try it for free.

And if you would like to review the interactive tutorials about left and right with your children, you can access them on the Smartick Parent’s Page by using the email address and password you registered with.

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Fun is our brain’s favorite way of learning
Diane Ackerman
Smartick is a fun way to learn math
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