Beacon Lesson Plan Library

Buggy Patterns

Sandi King
Bay District Schools


This literature-based lesson is the second lesson from the unit plan Patterns, Patterns Everywhere. Students learn to identify, create, predict, extend, and use patterns.


The student knows patterns of sound in oral language (for example, rhyming, choral poetry, chants).

The student uses repetition, rhyme, and rhythm in oral and written texts (for example, recites songs, poems, and stories with repeating patterns; substitutes words in a rhyming pattern).

The student identifies simple patterns of sounds, physical movements, and concrete objects.

The student identifies objects that do not belong to a particular group (for example, blue lid in set of red lids).

The student predicts and extends existing patterns using concrete materials.

The student transfers patterns from one medium to another (for example, actions, sounds, or concrete objects).


- The song "Going Buggy" from the CD [How Many Bugs in a Box?]. Simon & Schuster Interactive. New York. 1997.
- The charted song "Going Buggy"
- Pallotta, Jerry. [The Icky Bug Counting Book]. Watertown, MA: Charlesbridge Publishing. 1992.
- Small containers of 20 bug manipulatives or counters
- Bug stickers, or stamps
- Construction paper
- Computer that has Internet connectivity.
- The Student Web Lesson, Pattern .
- The Beacon Learning Center, Student Web Lessons site contains three additional Student Web Lessons that pertain to patterns. Christmas Light is text only but primary. Shane's Sports and Brenda's Bedroom Borders are both rext only and much more advanced.


1. Locate and become familiar with the song "Going Buggy" from the CD, [How Many Bugs in a Box?]

2. Write the words to the song "Going Buggy" on a wall chart.

3. Locate and become familiar with [The Icky Bug Counting Book].

4. Gather small containers of 20 bug manipulatives or counters.

5. Locate bug stickers for every child to create a repeating pattern (at least 10 each), or stamps and an ink pad. If the stamps are used, at least four insect stamps should be available for the students to create individual patterns. If a variety of stamps are not available, a variety of colors of ink pads will still allow for creative patterns.

6. Count construction paper (1 per child).

7. Locate and become familiar with the Student Web Lesson, Pattern Detective. Because of the sound integrated into this Student Web Lesson, the teacher should proceed through the entire lesson before having students do the lesson. This will allow your computer to access all sound files and will speed the student's time doing the lesson. Sound is a necesssary element in lessons for non-readers, however the download will be about a minute per page which can be distracting to young children. By preparing the computer prior to student participation, time on task is increased and distractions are kept to a minimum. This procedure must be completed on each computer being used each day. Once the computer has been turned off, the sounds are lost and must be downloaded again.

8. Schedule adults assistance for students as they participate in the Student Web Lesson.


Day 3 of the Unit Plan: Patterns, Patterns Everywhere

1. Orally review and model the definition of patterns. Have students share their pattern detective work showing or explaining the patterns that they found after school yesterday. Be sure to restate the attributes (the characteristics of the elements) that make each pattern. This verbalization of attributes is a model for the students and assists students with various learning styles.

2. Play the song “Going Buggy” and have the students sing along as you point to the words on the chart. Identify patterns in the song, both sound patterns and written word patterns. Students use the transparent bookcover strips to highlight the patterns that have been identified. Allow each child in turn to identify a pattern, select a transparent highlight strip, and place the strip on the pattern. This can also be done as a cooperative group assignment with different members of the group having the responsibility to identify, select the strip, and place it on the chart. Be sure students verbalize the attributes that make this a pattern.

3. During whole group time, read [The Icky Bug Counting Book] by Jerry Pallotta. Have students identify any patterns they detect in the book. Be sure to include language and science patterns, as well as math. Possible patterns may include location of graphics vs text, as well as placement of page numbers. Rhythm and rhyme are important patterns to explore.

4. Model creating patterns using bug counters. Have the students be pattern detectives to find the attribute used in the pattern. Some attributes may include wings, number of legs, number of body parts, etc. Students predict then extend the teacher’s pattern after identifying the attribute used.

5. Students create patterns using the bug counters. Students predict and extend patterns made by others in their group by answering the question, "What comes next?" Students should verbalize the attribute used to decide the pattern and prediction.

6. During center time, students are given insect stickers to create a pattern by sticking the bug stickers on construction paper. Stickers should be in an adequate variety and number to allow for creative patterns by the students. Remember that to be a pattern, repetition is a necessity so stickers must be in the quanity that allows for repetition. Students must verbalize their patterns. Encourage students to share their thinking as they create their patterns. Formatively assess the sticker patterns for repeated attributes before allowing students to actually stick on the stickers. Insect stamps and an ink pad are an inexpensive alternative to the purchace of stickers. Affirmative and corrective feedback should be given as to the student's ability to identify the attributes of the pattern. Affirmative feedback should verbally restate the attributes of the pattern with praise added for successful completion. Restating the attributes helps cement the concept in the student's mind. Corrective feedback should be a guide for the students to discover the mistake and make corrections. Teachers can lead the verbalizing of the attributes of the patterns and then guide the student to predict the next piece of the pattern. This document is page one of six for the individual pattern books described in the unit plan. Teachers may assist the sticking or stamping for students who have difficulty performing these motor skills.

7. During center time, students complete the Student Web Lesson, Pattern Detectives. This Student Web Lesson gives practice in identifying and extending patterns.


Formative assessments should be conducted throughout these activities. Students learn from affirmative and corrective feedback. For further details see step #6 in Procedures.

No summative assessment is included in this lesson.


1. The Beacon Unit Plan associated with this lesson can be viewed by clicking on the link located at the top of this page or by using the following URL: Once you select the unit’s link, scroll to the bottom of the unit plan page to find the section, “Associated Files.” This section contains links to the Unit Plan Overview, Diagnostic and Summative Assessments, and other associated files (if any).
2. Other song books about bugs that you may include or use as a substitute:
Gentner, Norma L. [Busy Bees]. The Wright Group Publishing, Inc., 1995.
Gentner, Norma L. [Munch, Munch, Munch]. The Wright Group Publishing, Inc, 1995.
3. If bug counters and stickers are not available, any theme-based manipluatives may be substituted. You may want to adjust the song and book to match your new theme.

Web Links

Students identify and extend patterns in a variety of settings. Audio is used to assist non-readers.
Pattern Detectives

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