Lesson plan

Patterns in the playground or park

Hunt for patterns in an outdoor space, design patterns with found objects, write out number patterns, and find patterns in how leaves grow.
Science content
Math: Patterning
  • 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
  • leaves, rocks and other found objects
  • 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.

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.

Patterns in sequences:
Students make their own patterns with found objects, then in groups create number patterns.

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
Gr 3