Playing with Patterns

  • Preschool
  • Math
  • 50 minutes
  • 5.0 based on 1 rating
September 22, 2015
by Alexandra Parlamas

Through play and a project, students will learn how to create and extend patterns by using various objects.

Learning Objectives

Students will be able to produce and extend a pattern using different objects.

Download Lesson Plan


Introduction (5 minutes)

  • Line students up in a boy-girl pattern.
  • Then, begin pointing to each student and say "boy, girl, boy, girl, boy, girl...".
  • Tell students that this is a pattern, or a repeated way in which something happens.

Explicit Instruction/Teacher Modeling (15 minutes)

  • Have students play the game Patterns on the Farm as a class.
  • Call on students sitting quietly to come up to participate.

Guided Practice/Interactive Modeling (10 minutes)

  • Sit students down and give each student two different colors of linking cubes. These can be substituted for colored blocks or other items that can be patterned.
  • Ask students to create a pattern using the manipulatives.
  • Walk around the classroom to see how the students are doing. Remind them that sometimes saying the colors out loud helps!

Independent Working Time (10 minutes)

  • Now tell students that they will be completing a project.
  • Give each student a large piece of white paper, two different colors of tempera paint, and two cups.
  • Have students dip the top of one plastic cup (the part you drink from) into one color of the paint and put it on the paper. Then, have them do the same with the other color of paint and cup. Tell them to create a pattern using the two different colors of paint!
  • Walk around the room to assess students.



  • Enrichment: Have students who are doing well with AB patterning to complete an ABC pattern using three colors instead of two.
  • Support: Allow students to create a pattern using colored blocks before using the paint to gain additional practice.

Related Books and/or Media

  • BOOK: Pattern Bugs by Trudy Harris
  • BOOK: A-B-A-B-A A Book of Pattern Play by Brian P. Cleary
  • BOOK: Pattern Fish by Trudy Harris



  • Assessment should be based on how the students do while completing the patterning project.

Review and Closing (10 minutes)

  • As a review, give students a copy of Light Up The Party! and have them try to correctly color the lanterns to finish the patterns. If students are struggling, pair them with a partner.

Teacher Tips


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