Learning Resource Type

Learning Activity

Pattern Pizzazz

Subject Area





This activity is an excellent reinforcement activity for students to explore patterns using shapes, letters, and numbers. The activity can be used individually or in groups of 2 or 3 students. 

This learning activity was created as a result of the Girls Engaged in Math and Science University, GEMS-U Project.

    Mathematics (2019) Grade(s): 4


    Generate and analyze a number or shape pattern that follows a given rule.

    Unpacked Content



    • Generate
    • Rule
    • Pattern
    • Sequence
    • Term
    • Continue
    • Identify
    • Explicit


    Students know:
    • Strategies for generating and recording number or shape patterns from a given rule.
    • Strategies for identifying and communicating shape and number patterns.


    Students are able to:
    • Generate a number or shape pattern that follows a given a rule.
    • Analyze a number or shape pattern that follows a given rule.


    Students understand that:
    • A pattern is generated from a given rule.
    • The properties of a rule or pattern can be used to extend a pattern.
    • Some features of a given pattern are not explicit in the pattern's rule.


    Learning Objectives

    Learning Objectives

    The students will...

    • identify repeating geometric or number patterns.
    • extend repeating geometric or number patterns.

    Activity Details

    The goal of the activity is to reinforce geometric, letter, or number patterns.

    After teaching a lesson on repeating patterns, the teacher should use this activity for reinforcement of the lesson.

    1. Place students in groups of 2 to 3 students.
    2. Distribute the Pattern Explorations Worksheet to use as an Exit Ticket (teachers will need to download and print this from the activity website prior to the lesson).  
    3. Each group will need an internet connected device (one per group).  Direct the students to the Interactive Pattern Generator activity.
    4. Working in collaborative groups, students should complete the challenges.  
    5. Informally ask student groups to explain the strategies they used to determine the "rule" of the patterns.  Can they explain why the patterns will continue to alternate this way? Can they continue an existing pattern? 
    • Provide positive feedback about the effort and process they used to solve the problem.
  • Ask each group to complete the worksheet as the Exit Ticket.
  • Assessment Strategies

    Assessment Strategies

    Use the Pattern Exploration Worksheet from the activity website as an Exit Ticket to assess if the students can:

    • identify repeating geometric or number patterns.
    • extend repeating geometric or number patterns.

    Background and Preparation

    Background / Preparation

    The teacher will need to download and copy the Patterns Exploration Worksheet from the activity website to use as an Exit Ticket before the lesson for students (one per group).  

    This activity should be used after teaching critical approaches to figure out patterns.

    Directions for Students using INTERactivate Pattern Generator for the first time: 

    Visit the website:  

    A randomly selected pattern will appear on the screen for the student to solve. The student can select a difficulty level from the drop down menu at the bottom right. The student will use the mouse to move the shapes from the right side of the board into the appropriate place in the pattern to solve the pattern.  If the student needs to move a shape, they must hold the cursor over the piece they wish to move, click the mouse button and keep holding down while they move the cursor to the spot on the board where they wish to place it.  When it is in position, they will release the mouse. If the student places the piece correctly, it will remain on the board.  If it is placed incorrectly, the piece will not show on the board.  If this happens, the student will need to select another piece to place on the board, which will require the student to look again at the pattern to try to figure out the pattern.  Students may remove any pieces they placed and start over by clicking the reset board button.  When students finish one pattern, they may click the next button to be assigned a new pattern.

    Digital Tools / Resources