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Delete the italicized text and enter your own.

Your Name: Jennifer Nelson

Title of the Experience or Activity: Tree Patterns
Where did you find this idea? (Include the book, article, person, or URL)
Age of Children: 3-4

Number of Children: Small group- 4

Curriculum Areas Addressed:

Brief Description of the Experience You

Are Planning:

Gross Motor
Fine Motor
The Arts
Visual Arts
Creative Movement
Social Studies
Type of Learning Experience:
Interest Area or Learning Center
Routine or Ritual
Small Group (4-5 children)
Large or Whole Group
Read Aloud
Family Engagement

Children will use items found on the class

nature walk and in the playground, to create

This activity is primarily:

o Child-led
o Adult-led
o Both

Describe Your Rationale for Choosing This Experience:

The class is working with trees and recently collected a variety of tree related items on our
class nature walk and on the playground- leaves, pinecones, acorns, pine needles. Practice
with sorting and patterns would be a great way to use the extra items.
Learning Outcomes: Remember to delete the italicized text and enter your own.


List the dispositions, knowledge, and skills that you

want children to achieve as a result of this

What assessment method will you use to document

outcomes for children?

Concepts/Knowledge Emphasized: Different

types of trees drop different things- leaves,
needles, pinecones, acorns, etc.
The items we find from the trees can be sorted
and classified by their characteristics.
These items can also be used to create patterns.
Objectives: Children will sort the nature walk
items based on their attributes- needles,
pinecones, leaves, acorns.
Children will complete patterns started by
teachers and peers.
Children will create their own patterns.
Standards Addressed:
Colorado ELDG Mathematics Knowledge and Skills
4.1- Sort, classify, and serialize (put in a pattern)
objects using attributes, such as color, shape, or
Colorado ELDG Mathematics Knowledge and Skills
4.2- Recognize, duplicate, and extend simple
Colorado ELDG Mathematics Knowledge and Skills
4.3- Create patterns through the repetition of a unit.
Colorado ELDG Logic and Reasoning 1.3- Classify,
compare, and contrast objects, events, and

Vocabulary: sort, classify, pattern, repeating,

leaf, needle, pinecone, acorn

Teacher will make observations and

anecdotal records.
Teacher will record childrens progress in a
matrix, noting which children are able to
successfully complete certain patterns.
They will note which children are able to
complete ABA, ABBA, etc.
Teacher will take photos.

Environmental Set-Up
Materials and Equipment List:
- Leaves, pinecones, pine needles, acorns (collected from nature walk and
playground, ensure there are enough of these supplies for each child to have
several items of each type.)
- 4 baskets
- Clipboard and paper, with observation matrix (for teacher observations)
- Camera
Setting: During small group time, one of the work tables will be cleared. Place 5
chairs around the table, one for each child and the teacher. Place the leaves, pine
needles, pinecones, and acorns in a large pile in the center of the table. Place the 4
baskets in a circle around the pile. Have the camera and clipboard nearby.
Learning Experience Outline
Introduction: Bring a sample of leaves, pinecones, pine needles, and acorns to circle
time. Ask: Do you recognize these from our nature walk/playground? Does anyone
remember what any of these things are called? Today we are going to use these
leaves, pinecones, pine needles, and acorns (point to each as you name them) to
make some tree patterns!
Step-by-Step Procedure:
1. Have the children each choose a chair at the table and sit down.
2. Ask the children to help you name each item again, as you hold them up; pinecone,
leaf, pine needle, acorn.
3. As the group names each item, put it down in a basket, there should be one item
for each basket.
4. Ask the children to help you sort the remaining pile of items into the baskets. After
step 3, there should be a designated basket for each type of item.
5. Work together as a group to sort the items.
6. Teacher will put the baskets in the center of the table and pull some of the items
out to create a simple ABA pattern. Children will complete it as a group.
7. Teacher will create a couple more examples of simple patterns. Children will
continue to solve them as a group.
8. Teacher will now use the items to create a simple pattern in front of each child, and
the children will complete them independently.
9. Teacher will make observations and take photos.
10. Teacher will repeat steps 8-9 a couple more times, increasing the difficulty of the
patterns if appropriate.
11. Next, children will use the items in the baskets to create their own patterns.
12. Once they have each created a pattern, the teacher will ask everyone to move one
seat over to the right, and complete the pattern in front of them.
13. Repeat steps 11-12 a couple more times.
14. When time is up (or group loses focus/interest) everyone will sort the items in front
of them and place them back in the correct baskets.

Questions You Might Ask During the Experience:

We are making patterns on the table, but can you think of anywhere else youve seen
patterns? Can you see any in the classroom?
Why do we separate the pinecones and the acorns? How are they different?
What else could we use to make patterns?
Closure: Let children know when the group is going to make their last pattern. If time
allows, let them explore the materials- to make more patterns, designs, or pictures.
When it is time to clean up, have the children sort their items into the designated
Simplify: Teacher might use fewer items (ex: only leaves and pinecones) to create
patterns. If children are unable to grasp patterns, they might explore the items and
use them to make designs or pictures on the table.
Challenge: Teacher might add more items to make patterns complex. Teacher could
also include colors and sizes (ex: big leaves and little leaves, red leaves and yellow
leaves) to increase the complexity of the sorting challenge and patterns.