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From snowflakes to butterfly wings, nature's patterns are truly remarkable. This engaging activity takes students outside to recognize, extend and create non-numerical patterns using natural objects they find. Pupils apply reasoning skills to determine repeating elements and understand pattern rules, while using logic to alter patterns by changing a single component. This educational tool offers a unique mathematical learning experience and encourages curiosity and an appreciation for the amazing natural world that lies beyond the classroom doors.
This resource supports Grade K-3 Mathematics curriculum exploring non-numerical patterns. Learners use natural objects as manipulatives to extend a pattern model and diagram changes. They practice organizing and predicting sequences by playing the "Pattern Logic Game", where each new object is similar but differs from the previous object in a singular aspect. This activity could also be used to create increasing and decreasing patterns and to have students explain their thinking.
Respect for the natural world is emphasized as students learn that objects must be collected with care. This establishes an understanding of environmental impacts which a teacher can use to support discussions surrounding conservation and stewardship. Photographs of student patterns could be used to create a school display that highlights the value of local habitats and describes "Leave No Trace" concepts for human interactions with nature.
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