- four different colors of construction paper
- plastic bags that seal
- white or black paper
- glue sticks
Objective: Children will engage in a variety of patterning activities to learn how to distinguish between shape, color, and size.
In Advance: Choose four different colors of construction paper for the patterning activities. Set #1: Make one-inch squares from each color. (You will need to cut enough shapes for each set so several children can work on the activity at one time.) Set #2: Triangles, squares, circles, and rectangles. Choose a color for each shape. Cut out shapes that are equal in size. Set #3: Choose any of the four shapes and cut them into four different sizes.
Introduce the patterning activities during small-group time. Repeat the activity over a few days so that children have the opportunity to develop an understanding of math concepts.
Color Patterns (Set #1)
Place the colored squares in the center of the table. Ask children to describe the similarities and differences. Choose two different colors and place four squares in a pattern of alternating colors, such as red, blue, red, blue. Review the pattern with the group. Ask them to pick the color that will come next. Provide an opportunity for all children to extend the pattern. Then, ask them to each choose two colors and to create their own pattern. Invite everyone to share their completed project with their classmates.
Shape Patterns (Set #2)
Give each child a handful of shapes to sort. Engage children in a conversation about their groupings. How many children sorted by color? How many sorted by shape? Next choose two or three shapes and create a simple pattern such as triangle, square, circle, triangle, square, circle. Ask children to choose the shape that would come next. Invite everyone to extend the pattern. Now invite children to work as a group to create a pattern. Then, ask them to use the shapes to create their own pattern. Encourage children to notice how their patterns are alike and how they differ.
Size Patterns (Set #3)
Give children the set of shapes that vary in size. Ask them to explain similarities and differences. Engage them in the same process presented in the previous activities including gluing a pattern onto paper.
Curriculum Connection: LITERACY
Patterns in My Home. Send a note home to families suggesting that a family member and child take a walk through their home to find patterns such as floor or wall designs or patterns in fabric or stair banisters. Ask them to make a list of all the things they find that have patterns. Create a language experience chart with the class to record the patterns that they found.
A Pair of Socks by Stuart J. Murphy
Patterns by Samantha Berger and Daniel Moreton
Too Big, Too Small, Just Right by Frances Minters