assess prior knowledge, place the students in pairs and give each
student two objects that could constitute the core of a pattern, such
as one blue and one red cube, one triangle and one trapezoid, or one
big button and one small button.
Give the students copies of the Complete the Pattern activity sheet, and ask them to begin a pattern with the objects you supplied.
Have the students draw the next four shapes needed to make two more repeats of the pattern core.
Review the students' work samples to determine which students
understand the concept of creating and recording repeating patterns and
which do not.
Save the students' work to measure progress, determine grouping strategies, or share with the students as feedback.
To begin the lesson, gather the students in a circle around a
table or on the floor. Use the same materials that the students will
use in the lesson to model how to create a repeating pattern.
Begin with simple AB patterns and progress to patterns with
several repeats within the pattern unit, such as AAB, 112233 (AABBCC),
and blue, red, red, yellow (ABBC).
Ask the students to describe what comes next as you create a
pattern. The pattern core should be repeated several times while you
ask Key Questions 5 and 6 to determine whether the students understand
the procedures for creating simple patterns.
To help the students understand the pattern core, have them
identify the elements that are part of each repeat of the pattern, such
as AAB is the core of the pattern AAB, AAB, AAB. Discuss with the
students why it is important to know the pattern core. (It is the
element that is repeated to make a pattern.)
Demonstrate how to create a repeating pattern using the applet, Creating, Describing, and Analyzing Patterns to Recognize Relationships and Make Predictions: Making Patterns.
Set the speed to "Speed 1" so that the students can observe how the pattern unit is placed to repeat and complete the pattern.
Engage students in identifying the pattern core.
Have students work in pairs to create patterns using the applet.
If you have only one computer in the classroom, the other
students might work with concrete materials, such as Grid Paper and
crayons or Grid Paper and colored cubes, to create patterns.
Give students copies of the Grid Paper, and ask them to draw a picture of their favorite pattern and label it with numbers, both cardinal and ordinal.
When they are finished, ask them to tell their partner how they made their pattern.
- "I used four red cubes and five blue cubes."
- "I used a one, two pattern."
- "I used an AB pattern."
- "The odd number cubes in my pattern are red."
This exercise helps demonstrate understanding and develops meaningful use of the vocabulary of patterns.
Pose questions that focus the students' attention on the color of a particular numbered block. For example:
- What color is the fifth block?
- What would be the color of the tenth block?
- What would be the color of the twelfth block?
This helps the students begin to "see" beyond the pattern as it is
pictured and focus on the pattern unit and the relationship among the
blocks within and among units.
Reconvene as a whole class to discuss what the students did and what they learned about patterns from the activity.
It is important for the students to model the "new" ideas that
they share so that the other students might learn from them. This
enables them to compare patterns they created and to recognize
similarities and differences.