Beacon Lesson Plan Library

Native American Necklaces

Diane Reinstatler


The students will make an -abb- pattern from macaroni they dyed in a previous lesson. They will follow the pattern as they string the macaroni to make a necklace.


The student recognizes, extends, generalizes, and creates a wide variety of patterns and relationships using symbols and objects.


-Good quality plastic sandwich baggies
-Containers to hold macaroni
-Food coloring
-Hot glue gun and sticks
-Macaroni: wagon wheels, bumpy rigatoni, smooth rigatoni
-1- x 4- pieces of tagboard
-Masking tape


1. Make one blank pattern card per child by cutting 1- x 4- pieces of tagboard and drawing a star at the far left hand side.

2.Cut one piece of yarn per student into 26- lengths. Label a 1- piece of masking tape with the student's name and fold it across one end of the yarn leaving one inch to tie to the other end.

3.Make a checksheet to record mastery level of students. Label three columns across the top: Established, Emerging, and Not Yet.


1. In a previous lesson, the students and teacher dyed the macaroni (red, blue, green and yellow) in sandwich baggies using two tablespoons of alcohol and enough food coloring for desired shade. Macaroni is allowed to dry on newspaper and then sorted into like shapes and colors.

2. Baskets of macaroni are set out and small groups of five students make an -abb- pattern (or other pattern the teacher wants to assess).

3. The teacher uses a hot glue gun and glues the macaroni patterns down on 1- x 4- pieces of tagboard, making sure to show students that the pattern begins at the star shape drawn on the left hand side.

4. Students thread the macaroni onto yarn referring to the pattern card. When finished, the teacher securely ties yarn ends together.


1. The teacher will work with one student at a time. The student will name the pattern he or she chose and say it to the teacher while pointing at each piece of macaroni.

2. Student will name the pattern he or she put on the yarn and see if it matches chosen pattern.

3. Teacher records on master checksheet the level of student's success.

4. Mastery is:
A. -Established- if child correctly strings macaroni to match pattern he or she chose.
B. -Emerging- if child strings half the macaroni correctly.
C. -Not Yet- if child is unable to string macaroni following chosen pattern.

If mastery is not established with an individual student, I reteach patterning on a one-to-one basis with each student or a small group if needed. If more than one fourth of the class does not demonstrate mastery, I reteach patterning to the entire group.


This math learning activity is used in my classroom in mid-November as part of a Social Studies theme focusing on the role and dress of Native American Indians and Pilgrims in early American history. The activity is used only after much experience in sorting/classifying and patterning in math.
Software used for reinforcement, enrichment and/or relearning are: Millie's Math House and Sticky Bear.

Web Links

Web supplement for Native American Necklaces
The Math Forum

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