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Kindergarten through Grade 2 (Primary / Elementary School)
Overview and Purpose:
This activity will help students see the logic of creating patterns and help them begin to be able to create their own. The lesson should begin with the definition of the word 'pattern' (things arranged following a rule). The teacher can use an overhead projector and colored transparent shapes to display patterns. The students will work in groups to discover the rule and extend the pattern. Each group will then be able to practice creating their own patterns for another group to extend.
The student will be able to
*name the rule for a displayed pattern of three to five colors or shapes
*extend a three to five color or shape pattern
*create a three color or shape pattern and repeat it a minimum of two times
Transparent colored shapes
Several of the same shapes for each group of three students
Crayons or colored pencils
Begin the lesson by talking about what a pattern is (things arranged following a rule). Have the students write the definition in their math journal. Use the overhead projector and transparent shapes to create a pattern. Have the students divide into groups of three and discuss what the rule for the pattern is and then extend the pattern by repeating it two times. Come back together as a group to discuss the rule and have one of the groups come up and replicate the pattern on the overhead using the transparent shapes. Continue this exercise providing more difficult patterns as the student's confidence and skill level increases.
For a closing activity, have each group develop their own pattern and then have the groups rotate to each pattern. They can write the rule and extend the pattern in their math journals. Encourage them to use crayons or colored pencils to draw the pattern. When all the groups have been able to see each pattern, have each group name their rule and show how the pattern would have been extended. Discuss how everyone did at recognizing the patterns and writing the rules.
This activity can be continued for homework by having students develop three or four patterns at home. They can write the rule and draw the pattern in their math journal. The idea of patterns can also be extended into other subjects and the students can be encouraged to find patterns in art, nature, and music.