Bilateral Symmetry in Beetles

Winter 2021

Uh oh, beetle infestation. And we love it!

These vibrant beetles were created by Methow Valley Elementary School 4th graders.

Beetles come in a fantastic variety of shapes, sizes, and colors. Some are innocuous and black, others iridescent shades of green and blue. All beetles, however, share common traits, including a hard wing casing that covers their more fragile soft wings, three body segments, six legs, and antennae. Beetles also have bilateral symmetry, meaning their left side is exactly the same as their right. This concept is equally important in the natural and artistic worlds.

Working with Methow Arts teaching artist Christa Culbert, students learned about bilateral symmetry in beetles. Using chalk pastels on a black background, students created a beetle with bilateral symmetry and accurate physiology. Chalk pastels require no brushes and no water, making them very easy for young students to manage. And the dark background allows the vibrancy of the chalk pastels to really pop.

The Bilateral Symmetry in Beetles project supports lessons in color, balance, and biology.

This art residency was brought to students by Methow Arts Alliance’ Okanogan Region Arts Education Partnership.  The partnership serves over 5,200 students and 380 teachers across greater Okanogan County with arts programs in classrooms in the Brewster, Methow, Okanogan, Omak and Pateros School Districts, and in the Paschal Sherman Indian School on the Colville Reservation.

For more information contact:, 509.997.4004