Patterns with Beads

Based on Carol Stephenson’s Mathematics Lesson

To view a detailed lesson plan, please click here

Curriculum – Patterning 

For students to explore, recognize, describe, and create patterns, using a variety of materials in different contexts.


Students will be in small groups on the carpet. Students should have had some previous experience with patterns and making patterns.


  • Beads of different shapes and colours
  • Personal 100s chart (Appendix A)
  • Camera

For appendix download the lesson plan here.


  • Work with small groups of children at a time.
  • Explain that children will get to make their own patterns with the beads.


  • After children have finished their first pattern, have them explain and name their pattern to the group.
  • Ask students not to clear their first pattern off their chart. Instead, they must add to it and make a second pattern.
    • Patterns can go in any direction (horizontally, vertically or diagonally).
  • Repeat the steps above and have children make as many patterns as they can.


  • Take a picture of the patterns they made for documentation or the extension activity outlined below.

Extension Activity
Writing about your bead pattern

  • Using the pictures you took from the “Making patterns with beads,” have students write about their favourite pattern.