 # Pattern Blocks What are they?

```Pattern Blocks
http://mcruffy.com/../Images/PatternBlocks.jpg
What are they?
Pattern blocks are a type of mathematical manipulative that was first introduced in the
1960s by the Elementary Science Studies. They are flat shapes that can come in wooden
or plastic form. Using the pattern blocks helps children to see how shapes are
decomposed into other shapes (for example: 3 triangles can fit into a trapezoid). The set
contains six different geometric shapes which are: hexagons (yellow), squares (orange),
trapezoid (red), triangles (green), parallelogram (blue), rhombi (beige).
What are some uses for them?
1) Patterning
Set up a math table with the pattern blocks in the middle. Ask children to create their own
pattern. Once complete, ask them to explain their pattern rule
For children who need extra support, you can start the pattern rule (e.g., A-B pattern)
and ask the child to extend the pattern. Once complete, ask them to tell you the pattern
and then to explain the pattern rule. Next step, ask child to create another pattern
independently (Is there another pattern you can create?).
1) Exploring properties of different shapes
Give children a bunch of pattern blocks, and ask them to explain the properties of each
shape. Once they answer it you can challenge their thinking by asking How do you
know?
3) Sorting
Example: By attributes for kindergarten
Give children a bag of pattern blocks; ask them to sort it in as many ways as possible.
Ask children to explain their thinking (sorting rule).
4) Tessellation
Ask children to cover a surface using as many flat shapes as they want, without
overlapping any shape or leaving any gaps. The next step is to ask children to name the
tessellation. Teach them to identify the vortex first, and then to go around that point and
write down how many polygons meet at that vortex.
Example
meet at this vertex, and a hexagon has 6 sides. So this is called a "6.6.6" tessellation.
http://www.mathsisfun.com/geometry/tessellation.html
5) Creating pictures
Kindergarten: Have several pattern blocks templates on a table with the pattern blocks.
The objective is for children to place the shapes onto the picture until it’s covered.
Questions you can ask are how many _________(pattern block name) did you use to
Grade 1 and older: Give children a blank construction paper, ask children to create any
picture they want using pattern blocks and ask same questions as you would for
kindergartens. As an extension, you can also ask your children to create the same picture
using different pattern blocks.
6) Teaching fractions (e.g., how many trapezoids are in one hexagon)
This activity will teach the relationship between the shapes. For example how many
trapezoids will fit into one hexagon? The answer is 2, so 1 trapezoid equals to 1/2 of a
hexagon.
7) Interactive games
You can find many interactive games on Smart Exchange or create your own. For
example you can have a fraction game up and ask children to find out how many
________ makes one ______. Then ask them to write the relationship between the
smaller parts (smaller pattern block) to the whole (bigger pattern block).
3 Part Lesson Plan for Fractions using Pattern Blocks http://
illuminations.nctm.org/Lesson.aspx?id=1308
Curriculum Expectations:
Overall Expectation: Use concrete materials to represent fractions.
Specific Expectation:
Divide whole objects and sets of objects into equal parts, and identify the parts
using fractional names (e.g., one half; three thirds; two fourths).
Learning Goal:
I will be able to identify fraction
To add different numbers up to 10.
relationships among pattern blocks.
Part 1 Before, Minds On or Activate
Success Criteria:
Prior Knowledge:
Draw a picture of a big pattern block
(For example, a trapezoid) and present
to the children. Ask children to cover
this pattern block using green
triangles?
Questions:
How can we solve this problem?
Is there another way to solve this
problem?
What is the relationship between the
big pattern block and the little ones?
Part 2: Hands On
Have the children work in groups of
two to answer each question on the
handout.
Questions:
- How can we solve this problem?
- Is there another way to cover the
whole fraction (the bigger pattern)
blocks using different pattern blocks?
- What is the fraction?
Part 3: Consolidation
Answer the questions in a large group
similar to minds on. Children can take
turns showing the different ways to get
the sum of 10.
⁃
⁃
⁃
I know that a fraction is part of
a whole object
I know that a pattern block can
be divided into equal parts
I know that the relationship
between smaller pattern blocks
is equal to a whole pattern block
(e.g., 3 triangles are the same as
1 trapezoid. Therefore 1 triangle
equals 1/3 of a trapezoid).
Strategies:
- Use a manipulative (pattern blocks)
- Make a picture
Tools:
- Pattern Blocks (only the yellow
hexagons, red trapezoids, blue
rhombuses, and green triangles)
- Region Relationship Worksheet
Misconceptions:
- How can we solve this problem?
- Is there another way to cover the
whole fraction (the bigger pattern)
blocks using different pattern blocks?
- What is the fraction?
Part 3: Consolidation
Answer the questions in a large group
similar to minds on. Children can take
turns showing the different ways to get
the sum of 10.
hexagons, red trapezoids, blue
rhombuses, and green triangles)
- Region Relationship Worksheet
Misconceptions:
Congress Question:
⁃
Is there a way to represent the
red trapezoid using blue and
green pattern blocks?
⁃
Can you cover the red trapezoid
using only one color?
⁃
What does this tell us about the
relationship between the blue
rhombus and the green triangle?
[The trapezoid can be covered with one
green triangle and one blue rhombus, or it can
be covered with three green triangles.
Consequently, there are two green triangles in
one blue rhombus.]
- Are there other ways to represent
various pattern blocks (for example,
the yellow hexagon) using more than
one color pattern block?
[The students should be lead in a discussion
of the relationships inherent in these
representations.]
- Do you understand that there may be
more than one way to represent the
fraction?
- Do not understand that you have to
divide the bigger pattern block using
the same small pattern blocks (using
equal parts)
- The bigger the number on the
denominator, the bigger the fraction.
- Half means just one whole cut into
two equal pieces.
``` # MAT.04.PT.4.ARTPJ.A.155 Claim 4 Grade 4 Mathematics Sample PT Form Claim 4 # Illustrative Mathematics G-MG Hexagonal Pattern of Beehives Alignments to Content Standards Tags 