Cian fetched some of our natural resources, to make some patterns with. A pattern is something that happens or appears in a regular and repeated way.


  • Rocks
  • Pebbles
  • Pine cones
  • Shells
  • Acorns

Pattern 1 – pine cone, acorn, conker

First of all, I asked Cian what a pattern is. He told me, “It’s where it repeats.” The first pattern he came up with was: pine cone, acorn, conker. He repeated this pattern twice below his original.

Pattern 2 – big stone, big shell

Next, he chose a big stone and big shell.

With this pattern, I encouraged him to continue the pattern in a line instead of just copying it below.

Pattern 3 – shell, stick

In this example, Cian was holding a shell to his ear, trying to hear the sea. He decided to start a pattern with shells and sticks.

Once he’d found the sound of the sea, he carried on with his: shell, stick, shell, stick pattern.

Tidying up his patterns

Having stood back and admired his work, Cics decided he didn’t like the way he’d set out his first pattern. Instead of repeating the pattern in two rows below, he decided to move the pine cones, acorns and conkers into a straight line.

More Patterns

The camera seized up with the cold, so Cici carried on working while it warmed up inside. First he straightened up the patterns he’d already made.

Then he decided to have another pattern of three: rock, pine cone shell.

Next he asked, “Can I just use one of them?” When he found out he was able to use as many of each resource as he liked, he came up with: one stick, three acorns, one stick, three acorns

These were his finished patterns, after he straightened up his lines:

DfES Early Learning Goals (2017)


ELG12 – Shape, space and measures:

Children use everyday language to talk about size and position to compare quantities and objects and to solve problems. They recognise, create and describe patterns. They explore characteristics of everyday objects and shapes and use mathematical language to describe them.