Home School Life Journal From Preschool to High School

Home School Life Journal ........... Ceramics by Katie Bergenholtz
"Let us strive to make each moment beautiful."
Saint Francis DeSales

Pattern Two: Introduction (Pre K-2)

Fruit and Vegetable Patterns

This activity is sometimes easier to do if you can find fruits or vegetables in which the students have not seen before, at least not on the inside. This is so they have to think about what they might look like inside based solely on what they see on the outside. Have them sketch the outside of the fruits so that they would pay close attention to their shape, size, texture and color.

Then they sketched what they guessed the inside would look like. If the outside was tough, would that make the inside soft? Would their be cavities inside? Would the color be the same or different? If the color was the same, would the shade be different? What would the seeds look like? Would they be small or large? Hard or soft? I made sure that they knew that I did not expect them to get the correct answers, but that I just wanted them them wonder, to infer.

Then we cut them open to see how they looked.

And they drew them again, noting all the things that they had wondered about before.

I encourage them to describe the shape, texture and markings of each of them. Note the color. Can you make your sketch have the exact color of the fruit or vegetable? What is the texture like -smooth, bumpy, crackly like paper? Does it pull apart? Does it have spots or other markings? How many sections does it divide into?

Using a magnifying glass can help for closer examination.
Can they predict what each piece will look like when it is cut open? Will the color be the same on the inside as on the outside? Do you expect to find a few seeds or a great many or none at all?
Discuss the lines and the proportion and the different shades of color.
Cut it open and talk about what you discover. Look at the different patterns inside each piece. Do you see spiraling patterns?

Leaf Patterns

Have your student examine a branch of leaves and ask them to describe whatever they notice. Do you see different shades of color? Do you see any places where there are different shades of color? Do you see any places where there are different thicknesses? Do these always occur in the same place? what do you notice about the spaces between the leaves? Are all the leaves the same size? How are they attached to the branch? Are they like your arm and are straight across or do they zig-zag? Do you see any diagonals? Are all the parts the same texture? The leaves on many plants are staggered in a spiral pattern to permit optimum exposure to sunlight. If we apply the Golden Ratio to a circle we can see how it is that this plant exhibits Fibonacci qualities. Cut the leaves off the branch. Can they sort them?
Make an effort to encourage them to notice patterns during nature study. Encourage them to make as accurate a sketch as they are capable, or take photographs to examine later for patterns.

Clothing Patterns

Students examine the design on a piece of fabric and copy this pattern onto paper.


You will need an enlarged map of your neighborhood for this project. The student picks a destination and plots the different ways to get there. It is fun to check their directions by going on a walk to the destination, using their directions.

Tile Patterns

Your student first makes a design using four blocks, tiles or Unifix cubes. Then ask your student how he could add tiles to keep the design, but adding to it, evenly. Have the student predict and build until five or six steps of the pattern are completed.

Surrounding Patterns

The couple of squares with the x's in them were mistakes.
This is why it  is good to check  the blocks before your students color the blocks in.
Have your student make a design with five or six blocks or cube on a piece of graph paper. Have him remove the blocks, one at a time, and color the design on the graph paper. The student now "surrounds" the design by placing a block in each space that touches only one side of the base design. Once you have checked to see if this rule has been adhered to, the student then colors these blocks, taking off one at a time. Continuing doing this until either the design is played out or the student tires of the activity.

Row, Column and Diagonal Patterns with Unifix Cubes

A lot of mathematic observations can be made by looking at the patterns numbers make. Using graph paper with different size blocks, have your students color according to number patterns. First have them build the patterns using Unifix cubes. For example, the number two would have two colors in an A-B-A-B pattern. Have them then pick one of the colors and trace the patterns they make in the blocks with a black marker.

Notice how James would color each block of the pattern in order.
Sam would get the pattern and color whole sections, one color at at time
Alex would color one color at a time.


Students write their names in square number arrays, beginning each one with the first letter of their name and leaving no spaces between letters or names.
Then they color in the first letter of their names and look for patterns.

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