Use a sequencing story or song to explore how growing patterns work.


After sharing a story or song such a ‘There Was An Old Lady Who Swallowed a Fly’ build a diagram of the pattern created. Students should be encouraged to discuss their thinking about the pattern. What is happening each time? What would come next? Students can then recreate the pattern using unifix cubes. Student they can be extended by recording the addition equation that would go with each step of the number pattern.

Building on from the idea of repetitive growing/shrinking patterns, students can use other materials to create cumulative growing/shrinking patterns. Counters organized in triangle formations is an easy way for the students to see a pattern that increases in size each time.

Further Reading: – “One Duck Stuck”

NRich – Developing Pattern Awareness with Young Children

Annenberg Learner – Defining Reasoning and Proof

Created by Sarah Metzger
Reviewed by Louis Olander

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