Number and Shape Patterns

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Mathematics, Numbers and Numerations, Algebra and Function, Problem Solving

Grade 1- 3


Students learn that patterns can be found just about anywhere in the world. They use different items, such as letters, numbers, colors, and shapes to create patterns. Students also learn that letters can be used to describe a pattern.


  1. Before teaching the lesson, ask the children if they know what a pattern is.
  2. Clap and snap your hands to create a pattern. For example, use the pattern "clap, clap, snap, clap, clap, snap." Have the children continue the pattern with you. Ask the children how they would describe the pattern to someone else. At this point, introduce the idea that patterns can be labeled with letters. The "clap, clap, snap" pattern would be labeled "AAB." Use the chalkboard or a piece of paper to model how to label the pattern.
  3. Have the children make up patterns of their own to share with their classmates.
  4. Go over the following practice pages with the children.
  5. Naming the Pattern (page 10): Use numbers to create familiar patterns but with unfamiliar numbers. For example, counting by 2's but start with the number 31.
  6. Identifying the Pattern (page 11): Use shapes to make patterns and pictures.


  • pattern blocks (or several different objects that can be used to create a pattern)
  • chalkboard or a piece of paper
  • Naming the Pattern and Identifying the Pattern activity pages

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