Lesson plan

Patterns in the playground or park

Hunt for patterns in an outdoor space and write out number patterns.
Science content
Math: Patterning
Activities in this lesson
  • outdoor space to work in with playground structures, fences, other features with patterns on them
  • map of the outdoor space e.g. print from google maps sattelite image
  • pencils
  • sidewalk chalk

Discuss what a pattern is: something that repeats - a rule can be used to describe it.
Give an example e.g. looking inside my umbrella I see a pattern of cloth, wire, cloth, wire.

Activity 1: Finding patterns in the park
Show students a map of the park.
If the map is a satellite image, the view from above may help to find some patterns right away. e.g. paving stones of different alternating colours.
Tell students they will walk around the park and look for their own patterns. Once they have found one they can locate the pattern on the map and describe it. e.g. railing = post, gap, post, gap.
Write their discoveries on the map - see the first photo.

Activity 2: Number patterns and their rules
Use sidewalk chalk to write out some number patterns.
Give students an example with their rule:
1,2,3,4 is a number pattern that adds one each time
10,8,6,4 is a number pattern that minuses two each time
Ask students to group up and write out their own number patterns. Then the class visits each pattern to figure out the rule.

Activity 3: Patterning in plant leaves
Show examples of different types of leaf growth patterns, then ask students to find their own.
They can use the park map to show where they found each pattern.

Grades taught
Gr 2
Teaching Site
Elsie Roy Elementary