In this lesson, children enjoy a variety of activities that give them experience in recognizing, describing, and extending repeating and numerical patterns. After some group activities, the children work at activity centers to further investigate patterns. In addition to the lesson plan, the site includes ideas for teacher discussion, extensions of the lesson, additional resources, and a discussion of mathematical content. The lesson plan is accompanied by video clips illustrating lesson procedures. The user should first locate the Magic Box lesson and then access the appropriate video clips at the PBS TeacherSource website. The video player necessary to view the video clips can be downloaded for free from the site. (author/sw)
This investigation of patterns almost turns into a project, as children investigate all the places that patterns can be found in their environment. Including photography is a great idea. The children could create a class pattern "book." The "magic box" could go on and on as children brainstorm ideas for new objects to put in the box. This could be adapted to a variety of developmental levels as well as for children with special needs. The magic box could be adapted to use patterns of varying textures for children with visual impairments. The jumping rope activity could be replaced with clapping for children with hearing problems. Pre-K teachers will want to start at a slightly lower level than this lesson presents. Instead of diving right into having students recognize and describe patterns teachers will want to first teach students how to create simple patterns out of colors and shapes. I would suggest leaving out the arithmetic lesson as it requires skip counting and actual skipping. Many children would not be capable of doing either of these.
You may also find ideas for adapting this lesson on the Planning Options pages of the REC.
Patterns, Functions and Algebra for Early Childhood
Use Patterns, Relations and Functions
Identify, copy, extend and create simple patterns or sequences of sounds, shapes and motions in the context of daily activities and play (e.g., creates red, blue, red, blue pattern with blocks).
Mathematical Processes for Young Children