EL Support Lesson

Pattern Snakes

During this art-inspired lesson plan, your students will practise identifying, building, and describing simple patterns!
This lesson can be used as a pre-lesson for theColour Patterns: Not Always Black and WhiteLesson plan.
GradeSubjectView aligned standards
This lesson can be used as a pre-lesson for theColour Patterns: Not Always Black and WhiteLesson plan.
  • Students will be able to identify and create a pattern.
  • Students will be able to identify the characteristics of a pattern and describe patterns using positional language.
(3 minutes)
Teach Background Knowledge TemplateWrite Student-Facing Language Objectives ReferenceVocabulary Cards: EL Support Lesson: Pattern SnakesGlossary: EL Support Lesson: Pattern Snakes
  • Gather the class together and introduce the lesson by doing a brief picture walk of the book, Hide and SnakeBy Keith Baker.
  • Ask students to think about what the book is about as you look at the pages during the picture walk. Encourage students to share out ideas by saying what they see on the pages.
  • Explain that today you will be learning all about PatternsOr designs that repeat at least two times.
(10 minutes)
  • Read aloud the book. As you read, pause to note the different patterns that you see on each page.
  • Review the definition of a pattern and refer back to the book for context.
  • Model creating the beginning of your own snake pattern using the provided materials (snake bodies, pre-cut pieces of paper, glue) and as you are working, think aloud to describe your pattern, "I am using two different colors. I am going to make my pattern blue, yellow, blue, yellow. This is an AB pattern because there are only two things that repeat."
  • Demonstrate and model how to use positional language to describe the pattern: "I am putting the blue next to the yellow."
(2 minutes)
  • Ask the students to help you finish the pattern, "What comes after the blue?"
  • Have students turn and talk to describe the pattern to a partner using positional language. Provide a word bank for reference that includes images (next to, in front of, above, below, etc.).
  • Define ReptileAs a cold blooded animal with scales, like a snake. Explain that student will now get to create their own snake pattern for a class reptile house.
(15 minutes)
  • Display the materials and go over project steps (choose the type of pattern, collect materials, glue pattern onto snake) and material expectations.
  • Excuse students to work independently.
  • At the end of the work period (10–15 minutes) pair students up with a table mate to share their patterns. Ask students to practise describing the pattern on their snake (using colour, shape, etc.) and use positional language.


  • Provide students with pre-started patterns and have them extend the pattern.
  • Ask guiding questions to have students identify the type of pattern (e.g., AB, ABB, ABC, etc.) and provide sentence frames for them to use positional language to describe the pattern elements.


  • Have students draw their own patterns on the snakes using markers or crayons.
  • Pair students together and ask them to describe the pattern to a partner using pattern elements and positional language.
(3 minutes)
  • As students are working on their patterns, ask them guiding questions such as, “What kind of pattern is this? Can you describe the parts of the pattern? What comes next in this pattern? What comes last in this pattern?"
  • Note if students are able to correctly identify the type of pattern and use content specific language to describe the pattern and use positional language.
(2 minutes)
  • Create a class reptile house and display the pattern snakes.
  • Have students participate in a gallery walk, where students look closely at one another's patterns and describe what they see.
  • Highlight a few different kinds of patterns on the snakes.

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