Beacon Lesson Plan Library

Passing the Pattern

Liz West


In this lesson, students work in small groups and will develp patterns using pattern blocks and will extend the patterns of the other group members.


The student predicts and extends existing patterns that are concrete or pictorial.


-pattern blocks
-One sheet of paper for each child that measures 3x36-


1. Cut butcher paper or newsprint into 3- x 36- lenghts.
2. Gather pattern blocks and crayons for each group ( Each group should have a wide variety of pattern blocks and enough to extend them. The amount would depend on the type of pattern your class is working on. Ex: AB would not need as many as a more complex pattern such as ABBC


1. Gain students' attention by clapping out an AB pattern.
2. Elicit response from the students about what kind of pattern you have just clapped.
3. Clap or snap out another pattern. Call on a student to extend the pattern with claps or snaps.
4. Explain to the students that today they will be working together in small groups to create their own patterns using pattern blocks and then they will pass the paper to the person beside them to continue the pattern. A group of four works well.
5. Each child will put blocks on the paper to make a pattern.
6. After they have made the pattern, they will trace around the blocks and then color the shapes the same color as the blocks they used.
7. Next, the child will write his name under the pattern created.
8. After they have finished their patterns and have written their names below the pattern, they should pass their papers to the person beside them.
9. The next child will continue the first child's pattern by doing the exact same thing. First, putting the blocks down, tracing, then coloring. Remind children to put their names under the part that they completed.
10. This continues until each child has extended the pattern for each child in the group.
11. At the end of the activity each child should have his own pattern returned to him.
12. Collect patterns for assessment.


Students will be assessed as follows:
E - Student was able to extend all patterns in the group and was able to create his own pattern.
S - Student was able to create a pattern and extend 80% of the group patterns.
N - Student was not able to create a pattern without help and was only able to extend 60% of the groups patterns.
U - Student does not show an understanding of patterning. Student was not able to create or extend any patterns.


This activity can be changed to use unifix cubes or work with partners. Groups of no more than four are recommended. Assessment can also be teacher observation. The type of pattern would depend on your students and their ability level.
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