Beacon Lesson Plan Library

Pretty Patterns

Beverly Iacobellis
Bay District Schools


Students participate in a variety of activities to extend their knowledge of patterning.


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


-Internet-connected computer
-Math manipulatives such as colored tiles, Unifix cubes, colored pattern blocks, number cards, etc.
-Potatoes for potato printing
-Various colors of mixed tempera paint in containers wide enough to hold a potato
-Art paper
-Colored candy such as M & Ms or Skittles in plastic bags
-Teacher-made pattern worksheets for the candy patterns
-SILVER BURDETT GINN MATHEMATICS practice page #10-7 or any other appropriate pattern worksheet (enough for the whole class)


1. Check computer connectivity for access to the Student Web Lesson, Brenda's Bedroom Border.
2. Gather all necessary supplies for the workstations.
3. Place math manipulatives in Workstation #2.
4. Carve shapes in potatoes and mix tempera paint for Workstation #3.
5. Prepare some colored candy pattern sheets for Workstation #4.
6. Tear out enough copies of the SILVER BURDETT GINN MATHEMATICS practice page #10-7 or any other appropriate pattern worksheet.


1. Begin this lesson by discussing shape and number patterns.

2. Reinforce this concept by playing a game called Complete That Pattern.

a. Give each student a number of pattern blocks, Unifix cubes, colored tiles, or number cards.
b. Each student makes a pattern on his or her desk using the manipulatives. (Allow a few minutes for the students to develop the pattern.)
c. Tell the students to change seats with their classmates. The students go to a different desk and complete the pattern on that desk.
d. Students return to their desks and make a new pattern.
e. Repeat this game as many times as is needed to reinforce this concept.

3. After introducing the concept of patterning, let the students rotate through five workstations that reinforce this concept. Have the students spend about fifteen minutes at each station.

Workstation #1: The students complete Brenda's Bedroom Border, an online Student Web Lesson.

Workstation #2: The students play with manipulatives to create their own patterns.

Workstation #3: The students make potato print patterns. (See Teacher Preparation)

Workstation #4: The students receive a bag of colored candy. They use the candy to complete a colored candy pattern on a worksheet. The children may eat the candy when they are finished. Yummy!

Workstation #5: The students complete the SILVER BURDETT GINN MATHEMATICS practice page #10-7 or any other appropriate pattern practice page.

4. Bring the students back together in a whole-group setting to discuss the practice page #10-7 or other appropriate pattern practice page.

5. Have the students share their potato print patterns and colored candy patterns from Workstations #3 and 4. This is the time to answer any questions they may have about patterning.


Observe students for:

1. Appropriate explanations for the patterns made in Workstations #3 and 4

2. An understanding of how to make a pattern

3. The ability to follow through and complete a pattern

4. Accuracy on the practice page from Workstation #5


1. ART: The children create pattern borders for displaying artwork and for the classroom bulletin board.

2. ART: Children design wrapping paper using seasonal shapes.

3. MATH: Place a pattern on the chalkboard or overhead for the students to complete daily.

4. MATH: Use pages 376-377 in the SILVER BURDETT GINN MATHEMATICS series to reinforce this concept, or use other appropriate pattern lessons.

Web Links

Web supplement for Pretty Patterns
Brenda's Bedroom Border

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