Creating, Describing, and Analyzing Patterns

  • 4.1 Creating, Describing, and Analyzing Patterns

    Grade: PreK to 2nd

    Encourage students to use visualization, spatial reasoning, and geometric modeling to build their own patterns or recreate one from given square arrays.

    This interactive is optimized for your desktop and tablet.  




    Use the tabs at the top of the interactive to toggle between two modes:

    • In the Explore Mode, drag tiles to the bar located at the bottom of the interactive. These should be placed in the order in which you want them to be repeated on the workspace.
    • In the Challenge Mode, do the same as above, but place tiles in such a way so that the predetermined pattern is recreated. Use the slider to determine the level of difficulty (2×2 – 10×10).

    Placing the Tiles onto the Board

    To place the tiles onto the board, you can:

    • Press Play. This will animate all of your tiles filling up the board.
    • Press Step-by-Step. This will place one tile at a time.
    • Press Finish. This will place all your tiles on the board without animation.

    If you were unable to create the desired pattern, the Clear button can be pressed to reset the board. This will not reset your pattern bar.


    Create pattern units of two to five squares and display them on the grid. Can you visualize how the grid will look when your pattern is repeated? Try these challenges:

    • Make different patterns with units of varying size. The units you create should all result in a pattern with vertical stripes when displayed on the grid.
    • Make a unit that will create a pattern with red squares appearing diagonally on the grid.
    • Create a pattern whose eighteenth square is green.


    Objectives and Standards

    NCTM Standards and Expectations
    • Algebra
    • Pre-K - 2
    • Algebra