Grade K. The Patterns All Around Unit Kit includes a Teacher’s Guide and enough supplies and apparatus for a class of up to 24 students. In the unit, students use assorted everyday objects to build on their intuitive sense of patterns. Students sort a collection of natural shells, (noting similarities, differences, and repeating patterns), investigate patterns outdoors, create colorful patterns with geometric shapes, discover patterns in everyday activities, and explore patterns that repeat in longer cycles of time (e.g., birthdays, seasonal cycles, life cycles). Students explore patterns in the night and daytime skies, consider apparent changes in the shape of the moon, and design a drip-drop “star” map with far too many stars in the “sky” to count.
The Patterns All Around unit addresses the following standards:
Next Generation Science Standards
Disciplinary Core Ideas
ETS1.A: Defining and Delimiting Engineering Problems
ESS1.A: The Universe and its Stars
ESS1.B: Earth and the Solar System
ESS2.D: Weather and Climate
ESS3.A: Natural Resources
ESS3.B: Natural Hazards
PS3.B: Conservation of Energy and Energy Transfer
LS1.C: Organization for Matter and Energy Flow in Organisms
- Asking Questions and Defining Problems
- Developing and Using Models
- Analyzing and Interpreting Data
- Planning and Carrying Out Investigations
Common Core State Standards
American Association for the Advancement of Science Benchmarks
Patterns and Relationships
- Circles, squares, triangles, and other shapes can be found in nature and in things that people build.
- Patterns can be made by putting different shapes together or taking them apart. Patterns may show up in nature and in the things people make.
- Numbers and shapes can be used to tell about things.
- There are more stars in the sky than anyone can easily count, but they are not scattered evenly, and they are not all the same in brightness or color.
- The sun can be seen only in the daytime, but the moon can be seen sometimes at night and sometimes during the day. The sun, moon, and stars all appear to move slowly across the sky.
- The moon looks a little different every day but looks the same again about every four weeks.
The Structure of Matter
- Some properties, such as hardness and elasticity, depend solely upon what the object is made of. Some properties, like size and shape, can also depend on other factors such as how the object was formed.
- A model of something is different from the real thing but can be used to learn something about the real thing.
- One way to describe something is to say how it is and isn’t like something else.
Constancy and Change Objects change in some ways and stay the same in some ways. People can keep track of some things, seeing where they come from and where they go. An object can change in various ways, such as in size, weight, color, or temperature. Small changes can sometimes be detected by comparing counts or measurements at different times. Some things change so slowly or so quickly that the changes are hard to notice while they are taking place.
- Observable objects may have very different sizes, weights, ages, and speeds.
- Describe and compare real-world objects in terms of number, shape, texture, size, weight, color, and motion.
- Draw pictures that portray some features of the thing being described.
- Interpret pictures, drawings, and videos of real-world objects and events.
Lesson 1: Can We Make Patterns?
In Lesson 1, students begin with a pre-unit assessment to determine their existing knowledge of patterns. They experiment with using different attributes of shape and color to create patterns, and finally create a preliminary definition for the term “pattern” based on their work with pattern blocks.
Lesson 2: Can We Find Patterns?
Lesson 2 presents students with the idea that patterns can also be found in natural objects. First, students examine a set of seashells, noting similarities, differences, and repeating structures. They sort the shells, and then go on an outdoor scavenger hunt for other natural objects that have examples of observable patterns of structure and arrangement. Students make a class collection of their finds and sort it according to similar properties.
Lesson 3: What Do We Do Each Day?
Building on their understanding that a pattern is “something that repeats,” in Lesson 3, students identify activities that they do every day. They sort these chronologically to come up with a daily routine. Students develop movements and sounds to correspond to these actions and perform them to create a “daily dance.”
Lesson 4: Looking at Longer Patterns and Cycles
Lesson 4 introduces the concept of longer patterns and cycles, which recur over time. Students discuss events in their own lives that occur less frequently and become familiar with how a calendar is organized. They sequence sets of seasonal and life-cycle cards, add to their definition of “pattern,” and repeat the pre-unit assessment.
Lesson 5: Up in the Sky, Oh My!
In Lesson 5, students return to the outdoors, this time to begin a focused exploration of the sky. They go outside several times to record what they see in the sky. They sort objects according to their relative sizes, perceived rates of motion, and positions in the sky. They note that some things change over time and begin to identify sky patterns.
Lesson 6: What’s in the Sky at Night?
In Lesson 6, students turn their attention to the night sky and compare how it is different from the sky during the day. They create a variety of patterns to describe the opposite nature of night and day. They carefully examine a star poster and discuss what they notice. Students then experiment with dropping water on waxed paper to create “star maps” and practice creating repeating patterns with the materials.
Lesson 7: Observing the Moon’s Pattern
Lesson 7 asks students to recall the observations of the moon they have made over several weeks. They report on what they have noticed about the moon’s appearance, position, and shape. They examine a set of cards that depicts the moon’s visible phases from crescent to full, put them in order, and note the pattern the shapes create. Finally, students evaluate their own progress by completing a post-unit assessment and summarize what they have learned.