You may wish to begin the lesson by reading a book about foods and reviewing the food pyramid. See the Bibliography of Books about Food for some appropriate student books.
Gather the students around you and display six yarn circles on the
floor. Tell them that each circle represents a section of the food
pyramid that they talked about in the previous lesson. Call for
volunteers to label the circles by writing the name of the food group
on an index card. Now, using the pictures of food previously cut out by
the students, ask volunteers to sort them into the yarn circles.
After helping the students recall patterns that they have made
earlier in the year, tell them they are to discover the rule that you
are using to make a pattern with the pictures of food. Arrange the nine
to twelve pictures of food one at a time in a linear pattern by
repeating a pattern core (for example, meat, fruit, vegetable) three
times. Suggested appropriate pattern cores for this age group are AB,
ABC, ABCD, or ABB.
Then ask for a volunteer to place the next picture in pattern.
If the student places the picture correctly, call for another volunteer
to place the next picture. If the picture is placed incorrectly, ask
the student to hold on to it and try again later.
When several foods have been placed correctly, call on a volunteer
to read the pattern aloud. This may be done by using the names for the
pictures or labels such as the letters AB, ABC, and so forth. Then help
the students who placed their food picture incorrectly to add their
pictures to the pattern. Repeat with other patterns, using a different
core pattern each time.
Next, ask the students to draw a pattern on a Pattern Strips Activity Sheet with foods from the food pyramid. Remind them that patterns should have at least three repeats of the core.
When the students are ready, call on a volunteer to read his or
her pattern and ask whether anyone else has a pattern that is like that
one in some way. When patterns have the same form, such as ABC, but the
elements used are different, the pattern is said to have been
translated. This process requires the ability to analyze the core and
to represent it consistently in another way. Name a pattern core and
encourage several students to read their patterns if they have that
core. Repeat with other cores.
Ask each student to make a food pattern with three repeats on a Pattern Strips Activity Sheet.
Now place the students in pairs. Have them trade patterns with their
partner and add a repeat to their partner's pattern. End the lesson by
having small groups of students compare their patterns in as many ways
as they wish. Then collect the patterns for a bulletin board display.