Beacon Lesson Plan Library


Jamie Baeten


This activity introduces the concept of ABAB patterns in a variety of fun ways. Using illustrations, unifix cubes, construction paper and even humans, students have opportunities to practice and demonstrate their understanding of patterns.


The student predicts and extends existing patterns using concrete materials.

The student uses concrete objects to create a pattern.


-Assorted colors of unifix cubes (enough for each child to create a 10 cube ABAB pattern)
-Illustrations from magazines depicting patterns in everyday life
-Construction paper strips of 2 different colors (5 of each color for each child)
-Glue stick for each child


1. Gather pictures from magazines of patterns
2. Cut strips of two different colors of construction paper (5 of each color for each child)
3. Count out and bag unifix cubes


*Day One Activities
1. Have students come together to the circle time area.

2. Define the term ABAB pattern.

3. Ask for volunteers to locate this pattern in the classroom.

4. Display pictures cut from magazines that integrate patterns. Have volunteers come and point to the pattern they see in the picture. Have the student orally state the pattern. (For example, “red, blue, red, blue…”.)

5. Select three boys and three girls and ask them to group themselves so that they can make a “human” ABAB pattern. Repeat this process to give all of the students an opportunity to participate.

6. Provide each student with 10 unifix cubes, five of one color and five of another. You may want to put these in small plastic bags prior to the activity to make the activity run smoothly.

7. Ask students to use their unifix cubes to create their own ABAB pattern. The teacher will rotate to assist and observe.

8. After ample time, have each child share and describe the pattern that they created. (For example, “I made an ABAB pattern that is yellow, green, yellow, green…)

*Day Two Activities – before beginning today’s activities, put 1 glue stick, 10 paper strips, five of one color and five of another, at each student’s working area.

1. Have students come together in circle time area.

2. Define the term ABAB pattern, and ask for a volunteer to locate an ABAB pattern located in the classroom.

3. Review the ABAB patterns that were observed and made the day before by asking volunteers to recall the patterns seen in the magazine pictures and made with the unifix cubes.

4. Explain that students are going to make an ABAB Pattern PLEASE today using construction paper and glue.

5. Model making an ABAB pattern for the students using construction paper. However, only do the first two sections of the chain. This will allow you to truly determine each student’s understanding.

6. Students return to their tables and construct their own chains. The teacher will rotate to assist and observe.

7. After ample time, the students will return to the circle area and share their completed chains. Students will orally state the ABAB color pattern that they have created.

8. As each chain is shared, staple that chain to the preceding chain. When all students have shared, you will have an enormous ABAB pattern chain that can be displayed within the classroom.


The students will use concrete objects to create an ABAB pattern correctly. Teacher will circulate and offer feedback as students work. Observe to see that students are using the manipulatives correctly to form the pattern and then observe to see that the portion of the chain created by each student follows the pattern. Students having difficulty may need more instruction or practice.


1. Provide additional opportunities to use concrete objects to create ABAB patterns. For example, colored pasta, colored cereal, bingo dabbers, magnetic letters and pattern blocks are just a few of the items that may be utilized.
2. Allow students to bring in examples of ABAB patterns that they have found in their own homes to share.
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