Saturday, 15 September 2012

Using Literature to teach Patterns in Math

Have you ever notice that there are patterns EVERYWHERE? If you haven't, a first grader can tell you all about it! Once we begin this unit (it is the first one in math for us) they are like pattern detectives, they can find them anywhere. One of our favourite places to look is, of course, in a book!

One of my absolute, all time favourite books to read is Pattern Fish, and Pattern Bugs, by Trudy Harris, shows many different kinds of patterns, and the translation lessons that you can do with this book, well let me tell you, it is so much fun! The kids love to make their own pattern fish and pattern bugs after we are finished reading these stories.

Brown Bear, Brown Bear is a classic story that I love to use for my patterning unit. Students enjoy reading this book because of the easy to remember word pattern. It is a valuable tool to teach that not just shapes, numbers, and colours can be patterns. We can also find words and sentence patterns in stories.
After we read Brown Bear we create our own story about shapes that follows the same word pattern format. I show the students the ABC pattern with pictures first, then we put the sentence strips in order on a pocket chart. We read this new pattern story as a class, and then I tell the students that they will now be the Author and make a story as a class all about patterns! 

They love creating class books and reading them over, and OVER again from the class library. Once each student completes a page, we put it together and read it. The kids feel so much ownership and pride when they hear their page being read in front of the class. Do you want to do this activity with your class? Click on the picture to find the activity.
Do you have any other favourite pattern stories that you love to read to your class?

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