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MFA for Educators

Engage your students with the collections of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, to illustrate themes and concepts in any discipline.

Finding Patterns in Decorative Arts and Sculptures

Grade Level: Kindergarten

Subject: Mathematics- Exploring Patterns


Through observing and discussing the slides in the gallery, the kindergartners will be able to find and discuss different types of repeating patterns in real life objects.


K.P.3 Identify, reproduce, describe, extend, and create color, rhythmic, shape, number, and letter repeating patterns with simple attributes, e.g., ABABAB….


1) Have the children meet together on the rug as a whole-group. Introduce that you have gone to the Museum of Art in Boston and noticed that many of the pieces of art contained patterns. Ask the students: What is a pattern? Where can you find patterns? Are there different types of patterns?

2) Invite the students to look at each slide with you and discuss the object and the patterns that they notice. Explain a little about what the different slides are. Ask them to carefully observe the objects' patterns and express what they see and notice. Ask them to explain what they think will come next in the pattern (extending patterns).

3) After you have shown the slides, partner up the children and have them walk around the room and find patterns in the classroom. They can record what they see using a clipboard and paper.

4) Have the kids come back to the rug as a whole-group to share their discoveries. Record their findings on chart paper.


While discussing patterns in the slides, I may have the kids partner share before sharing whole-group so that everyone gets a chance to participate.
Students who need extensions will be encouraged to try to find more challenging patterns in the classroom if they are not doing so on their own. I will modify the lesson, for children you need help, by asking them to only find 2-3 patterns in the room before they record their answers.


I will informally assess student performance and determine if students have met the standard by observing and listening to their discoveries on what patterns they find.


We will review what a pattern is and the children will have the opportunity to make their own patterns using molding clay and beads.

Created By

Elke Carver