My second graders learned about patterns. We spent two class periods before we got to the actual art project learning about and talking about patterns. I first read them a fun pattern book to get them introduced in an easy and digestible way. Then I showed them a powerpoint of pictures of patterns in nature, such as snake skin and spider webs. They had a lot of fun guessing at what each picture was and being so suprised when they found it. Then we did a worksheet activity to assess their skills mid-way through the unit. The class worksheet had some basic “fill in the blank” and “what comes next” pattern problems, as well as a few pages of blank boxes where the students were asked to locate patterns that they could see from wherever they were sitting. They seemed to really enjoy looking around the art room at wallpapers and borders and colors, or at their friends striped shirt, or outside at the swings. They did a great job learning patterns. Finally we got to the art-making part. Students cut their own simple shapes out of foam trays (recycled lunch trays!) and were given a few squirts of paint to share at each table. They used their shapes as stamps to make patterns and also learned about color mixing, which wasn’t planned, but they liked to talk about how the colors mixed together and eventually just made brown. It was a great and messy time!