Recognizing Patterns 2: Repeating Patterns

Contributor: Danielle Childers. Lesson ID: 10248

Have you seen someone look at a piece of cloth or wallpaper and say, "What a lovely pattern!" Have you listened to music and heard certain notes repeat? Learn about patterns with videos and a project!


Counting and Cardinality, Plane Geometry (2D)

learning style
Auditory, Visual
personality style
Lion, Beaver
Grade Level
PreK/K, Primary (K-2)
Lesson Type
Quick Query

Lesson Plan - Get It!

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Look carefully at these pictures. What looks the same in each picture?

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The pictures you looked at are made of different colors and shapes, but look more closely at the design of each picture.

Do you see that each picture has a color and shape that repeats? Tell your teacher what repeats in each picture.

When something repeats, it means that something is done over and over again. You found out each picture has colors and shapes that repeat; we call something that repeats itself a pattern. So a pattern is what is similar in each of these pictures.

A pattern can be a repetition of shapes, colors, sounds, letters, numbers, and even motions. Though you may not know it, you follow patterns and see patterns every day!

When you wake up in the morning, do you do the same thing every day, like go to the bathroom, get dressed, eat breakfast, and brush your teeth? That routine is called a pattern!

Watch this BrainPOP Jr. Patterns video to learn more about patterns. When the girl is talking about patterns in the very beginning of the video, she mentions patterns of colors, shapes, sizes, movements, and sounds. When she mentions those, find the pattern and share it with your parent or teacher. You can pause the video if you need more time.

In the video you just watched, the girl talks about a unit. Do you remember what she said a unit of pattern was? When you break down a pattern, a unit is the smallest part that repeats. For example, if a unit was “heart, square,” the pattern would be “heart, square, heart, square, heart, square, heart, square, heart, square.” You can see that in the chart below:


Before we continue talking about units, you are going to create some patterns of your own!

You will need small objects that have 2 colors or 2 shapes. You could get rocks and sticks or LEGO®s that are 2 different colors. Your teacher will set a timer for 3 minutes, and you get to play with your objects and make some patterns in that time.

  1. During the 3 minutes, see how many different kinds of patterns you can make with 2 colors.
  2. Each time you find a new way, show your teacher and tell him or her why it is a pattern.
  3. Write down your pattern on a piece of paper.
  4. How many different patterns do you find you can make with 2 different colors?

There are 4 patterns you are going to learn in this lesson.

AB Patterns

Looking at the different patterns you just studied, create each of them again with your objects. Once you have finished each pattern, share it with your teacher. Tell him or her what the unit pattern is and how you made it into a repeating pattern.

This Let's Make Patterns! video from Keith A. Crawford (below) also shows the unit pattern AB. In this video, the man calls it a core pattern. A core pattern and a unit pattern are the same thing. You will hear both of them used:

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Let’s feel the AAB pattern with our body. Get up and watch the HeidiSongs AAB Pattern Song - Muscial Math. The first time through the video you can just watch, but the second time through, follow the movements of the lady:

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Take a rest, then continue on to the Got It! section to move through some more patterns!

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