Package 2-4: Patterns

In this task your child will be noticing and describing patterns using words and representations.

Week 3 - Package 4 - Year 5 and 6 Mathematics - Patterns

Things you need

Have these things available so your child can complete this task.


Back up

  • Counters, beads or small objects

  • Images in lesson notes

Before you start

Find a space to use where you can move materials around.

What your child needs to know and do

There can be a number of different ways to think about the same pattern.

What to do next

Display the picture below.

How do you see these patterns growing?

Image shows three cases of stacked boxes in a pyramid shape. Case 1 has 3 boxes on row 1 and 1 box on row 2. Case 2 has 5 boxes on row 1, 3 boxes on row 2 and 1 box on row 3. Case 3 has 7 boxes on row 1, 5 boxes on row 2, 3 boxes on row 3 and 1 box on row 4

This image is from Raindrop Task Final Copy

Discuss things like:

  • In case 2 there are more boxes than in case 1.

  • In case 3 there are more boxes again.

  • Where do you see the extra boxes adding each time?

  • There are many ways to answer this question as people see the cases in lots of different ways. How do others see them?

Here are 3 different ways of thinking… Watch the video Raindrops.

Image showing how Barbara Ayesha and Michelle each see  the shapes of squares growing as described in the video Raindrops.

  • Mathematicians often like to draw diagrams and use tables to help them identify patterns.

  • Can you use these strategies to help you work out what the 10th case would look like?

  • Is there an equation for solving this number pattern?

Options for your child

Activity too hard?

Work out the 4th and 5th cases and use that to help you work out the 10th case.

Use objects to create other patterns. Eg use beads to make a pattern and describe it to someone else.

Activity too easy?

Describe the pattern you see using an algebraic expression.

Extension/Additional activity

Try out another pattern challenge Days and Dates. This one is from NRICH maths.

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