Beacon Lesson Plan Library

The Rhythm of My Heart

Dena Reid


This activity is a fun way to incorporate music as students learn to describe pattern rules.


The student describes a pattern rule.


-plastic cups filled with valentine candy hearts (one per student)
-work mats or construction paper (one per student)
-markers or chalk


1. Gather materials.
2. Make copies of [The Rhythm of My Heart] assessment worksheet.


Day One

1. Play a rhythm on the bells, such as loud, soft, loud, soft. (Note: If bells are unavailable, clapping can be used.) Encourage students to clap along with the rhythm.

2. Tell students that today we will use the rhythm being played, as well as ourselves, and candy to learn about patterns and pattern rules.

3. Discuss what a pattern is and how patterns are used throughout nature. Allow students to give examples of patterns.

4. Tap another rhythm on the bells, such as: loud, loud, soft, soft. Discuss how we could act out this rhythm using boys and girls (boy, boy, girl, girl) and then proceed to act out by calling several boys and girls up in front of the class.

5. Repeat step four several times using different rhythms and students for additional practice.

6. Distribute valentine candy in plastic cups (one cup per student) and work mats.

7. Play a different rhythm on the bells, such as: loud, soft, soft, loud, soft, soft. Demonstrate on the board how we could use letters and numbers to describe the pattern, such as: 1,2,2,1,2,2, and A,B,B,A,B,B.

8. Discuss how we could show this pattern rule using candy and then ask students to show this pattern rule on their work mat. (For example: pink, green, green, pink, green, green).

9. Circulate and observe students. Offer assistance to any who need help.

10. Repeat steps seven through nine several times for additional practice, calling upon a student to write the pattern rule (using letters and numbers) on the board, as students display the pattern on their work mats.

11. Monitor students as they work and give corrective feedback, as needed.

12. Provide additional opportunities (as students’ needs are assessed) to practice describing the pattern rule by using the valentine candy and by writing the rule using letters and numbers on the board.

Day Two

1. Ask students to tell something they learned in math yesterday. (Review what a pattern is and ways we can describe a pattern.)

2. Play a rhythm on the bells , and review the process of calling on a student to write the pattern rule on the board, using numbers. Ask another student to write the rule on the board using letters.

3. Repeat step two several times.

4. Distribute [The Rhythm of My Heart] worksheet for formative assessment. (See associated file.)


Students listen to a rhythmic pattern and describe it through actions, colored candy, and letters and numbers.

Observe student, giving corrective feedback as needed.
Formatively assess learning using [The Rhythm of My Heart] worksheet, provided in the associated file.
Provide additional opportunities for practice.


1. Make heart headbands using sentence strips or long strips of sturdy paper and hearts. Give students a pattern rule and instruct them to color the hearts accordingly. Students should then glue the hearts onto the sentence strips to form a pattern headband. Staple to fit each child’s head.
2. Make heart wreaths using white paper plates. Cut out the center of each plate prior to doing this activity. Pass out plates and white hearts. Students should color hearts to make a pattern (of their choice) and glue them on to form a heart wreath. Afterwards, students should present their wreath and orally describe their pattern rule.
3. Instruct students to write a summary of the lesson, using the words: First, Next, Then, Last.
4. Read the book, [Lots and Lots of Zebra Stripes] by Stephen Swinburne. Instruct students to write about their favorite animal in the book and describe that animal and its pattern.

Attached Files

The Rhythm of My Heart     File Extension: pdf

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