Here are two more activities that I have done. One describes the
pattern unit using Kim Taylors book. The other describes wall hangings made
after studying the wetlands. Both done with a K-1, but it could work for
Let me know what you think.
Kim Taylor's book breaks down pattern into several different types. We
created a chart using some of them. Spiral, ring, radial, stripe, branching,
overlapping, (We also added symmetrical, fractal, hide, attract, and
something else that had to do with animal patterns but that I can't remember
now.) Some of the things we did (I started this with my husband's class and
then used it with others):
Patterns found in nature - the kids brought in items to share, we ended up
making small clay plates with the objects used for impressions. Some even
made the impressions into a pattern. For assessment we xeroxed the plates
and the kids had to identify the patterns. They could write on the xerox.
Small clay disks that they made impressions in, using anything and
everything. They had to make the 8 patterns we were using (symmetrical being
one) We used several different colors of glazes, wiping off some to have the
impressions show up more. Using yarn circles, we made a game of making Venn
diagrams with the disks, trying to discover the 'rules'.
Using a great book called "Amber Waves" (all overhead shots of farmland/land,
it was on the discount table...) we looked at aerial photos... We did one
of two things, recreated land formations in clay, then glazed. Or used
Sharpie ? marker to draw on watercolor paper, then painted in the different
sections. Put together, these paintings looked like a patchwork quilt.
Which took us to patterns in fabric.
Crayon rubbings to look for patterns, cut out for collages.
When we presented this at a math conference the teachers had a hard time
believing that K-1's could grasp the info. But when I walked through the
courtyard and saw chalk drawings from recess, labeled correctly - I knew they
could do it. Also, they began to 'see' better - Stripes on a shirt could
also be 'rings' if looked at in a new way. Of course you can't look at
patterns without talking about color, shape, line...so it was a great unit.
Another project I forgot to mention:
Wall hangings. The kids hand dyed fabric in blues, purples, browns and
greens and combinations of each. (We used old bottles filled with dye, they
squirted.) I cut the fabric into strips 1 1/2" to 3" wide. They sorted into
colors. Each group made a 'wetlands' panel, each panel is divided
into sections of the wetland - for example - one is 2/3 sky, then grasses,
then water. One is less sky, more grasses, more water. Next may show more
of what's beneath the water line... (They placed the strips onto large sheets
of paper that had double sided tape. They could be rolled up until they
were sewn together by parents.)
We used shrink plastic to make the insects. The plastic had holes punched
before shrinking so that it was like a button that could be sewn to the
fabric. Again we used different notions to create the plant life and
organisms that live in that habitiat.
I would like to hear more of what you are doing -