1st Grade - Simple Patterns

Simple Patterns
Describe, extend, and explain ways to get to a next element in a simple repeating pattern.
The student will be able to describe, explain, and extend simple patterns.

Sample Problems


What is a pattern? (something that repeats over and over again)


What comes next?


What comes next? 12121212___ ___


What comes next? Snap, clap, snap, clap, _____, _____


Finish the pattern.

red, green, yellow, red, _____, _______

Learning Tips


There are several wonderful opportunities for practicing patterns in everyday life. For example, when your child is cleaning up their toys, ask them to show you a simple ABAB pattern by placing their toys in this order. For example if they are cleaning up their toy cars and their army men, have them make a pattern with them (car, army man, car, army man, etc.). You can also practice creating and identifying patterns using small food items such as peas and carrots, M&Ms, Fruit Loops, etc. You can ask your child to extend patterns that have been started. They can also create their own patterns and identify why it is a pattern and what the pattern is.


Manipulative Patterns: This is a hands-on activity that will really reinforce the concept of patterns. A wonderful way to practice this concept is to purchase a bead stringing kit from your local toy store. Ask your child to create patterns using the different colored beads. You can often find sets that contain beads with a variety of colors along with a variety of shapes. You can begin a pattern and ask them to complete the same pattern, or you can ask them to challenge you with their own pattern creation. You can also do a similar activity with long “tube shaped” noodle pasta. If you would like directions on how to use food coloring to dye the pasta different colors, please follow the link below.



Pattern Notebook: Provide your child with a simple spiral notebook. It can contain either blank or lined paper. Inside the notebook your child to record samples of patterns that they find. Maybe they recognize a pattern in a song, or they see a color pattern out in the neighborhood. Whenever they see something that they feel is a pattern, have them document it in their notebook. At the end of the week, ask them to share their findings with you. Discuss the patterns found and ask them to either extend these patterns or create new ones of their own.


Pattern Challenge: For this activity you will need multiple blank index cards, markers, shape patterns, different colored construction paper, and glue. This activity can be played with multiple players, or with just you and your child. You can either copy the shapes onto different colored construction or you can print the shapes out onto white paper and then color them. Using the shape patterns, create a variety of patterns onto the index cards. Have your child pick a card and ask them to duplicate the pattern and continue it. You can also have cards that are only shapes. Have you child pick two or three shape cards and then they will need to create their own pattern by using the selected shapes. You can use a game format when you have multiple players. The first person to complete each pattern correctly, the quickest, wins.


Musical Pattern Game: For this activity you will need to gather objects that can be used as musical instruments (pots, pans, beans in a can, rubber bands, etc). Next, have your child listen to and create their own musical patterns. Have them identify what sound should come next and take turns creating these fun musical patterns.

Extra Help Problems


Finish the pattern circle, square, triangle, circle, square, triangle, ____, ____, ____ (circle, square, triangle)


What comes next? ABBA __ __ (BB)


Complete the pattern 1234123412__ __ (34).


Using the following colors create your own pattern. (red & orange)


Finish the pattern triangle, triangle, rectangle, rectangle, triangle, _____, ______, ______ (triangle, rectangle, rectangle)


What comes next? ABCDAB ___ ___ (CD)


Complete the pattern 123123 ___ ___ ___. (123)


Using the following shapes create your own pattern. (triangle & heart)


Finish the pattern. Red, blue, green, red, ___ ____ (blue, green)


Finish the pattern heart, heart, square, circle, __, ___, ___, ___ (heart hear, square, circle)


What comes next? AABCCAABCCAA__ ___ ___ (BCC)


Complete the pattern.11223112231122___ (3)


Using the following letters create your own pattern. (ABC)


Using circles and triangles, create your own pattern.


Finish the pattern circle, circle, circle, rectangle, triangle, circle, circle, circle, _____, ______. (rectangle, triangle)


What comes next? ABCCDABCCDAB __ __ __ (CCD)


Complete the pattern. 1233123312___ ___ (33)


Choose 2 different numbers and create your own pattern with them.


Complete the pattern. Clap, whistle, whistle, clap, ____, ____ (whistle, whistle)


Finish the pattern. Circle heart, square, triangle, circle, heart, ____ _____. (square, triangle)


What comes next? ABBBCA ABBBCA ABBB ___ ___ (CA)


Complete the pattern. snap, clap, whistle, snap ____ ____ (clap, whistle)


Using the following animals create your own pattern. (dog & cat)


What comes next in this pattern? AABBCC AAB __ ___ ___ (BCC)


Finish the pattern Circle, circle, rectangle, triangle, circle, circle, rectangle, _____ (triangle)


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