Patterns with Unifix Cubes

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 begin by sitting on the carpet in a circle.


  • Unifix cubes


  • Lay the unifix cubes out in the middle of the circle.
  • Ask children to choose two colours and to get about 10 cubes of each colour.


  • Introduce the naming of patterns. (i.e AB, ABB, AABB etc.)
    • Give a few examples until you see that children have grasped the concept.
    • Inform the students that this section of the pattern is called the “building block.” Make it clear that if AB is the building block, it is this section that repeats to form the pattern.
  • Instruct students to build any pattern they choose with their unifix cubes.
    • It is important to note that students don’t have to use all of their cubes – depending on their pattern, they may have some cubes left over.


  • Go around the circle and ask each student to describe and name their pattern.