Patterns rule!

10 - 11 years
Ideas to help your child practise their numeracy skills - with you, and online
Boy looking away at a field of crops

Developed in partnership with Education Services Australia

The Australian Curriculum sets the goal for what all students should learn as they progress through their school life. Skills in the Year 5-6 curriculum include:

  • identifying and describing pattern rules and relationships that help to identify trends
  • describing the rule used to create a sequence of numbers
  • exploring geometric and number patterns, including square and triangular numbers.

It’s easy to help your child practise these skills as part of everyday life – just use these simple ideas.

Notice and create patterns

Recognising pattern rules and relationships is still an important part of maths in upper primary. To help your child develop their pattern skills, do things like this together:

  • notice patterns in music – eg a bass line, a percussion pattern, a vocal riff
  • create your own musical patterns – eg rhythmic patterns, melodic patterns, even patterns of words
  • notice visual patterns in the environment – eg repeating shapes, repeating colours
  • create your own visual patterns – eg in an artwork, the border for a card, the decoration of a cake
  • notice movement patterns – eg in a dance, a mime, a tennis player's routine
  • create your own movement patterns and teach them to each other
  • notice number patterns – eg in sequences of numbers
  • play Guess my pattern:
    Design a secret pattern rule by choosing:
       a starting number
       a pattern number
       an operation (add, subtract, multiply or divide).
    Keeping your rule hidden, write down the first six numbers in the pattern to show the other player. For example:
       if you have starting [ 1], pattern [2] and operation [multiply],
         write down 1, 2, 4, 8, 16, 32
       if you have starting [30], pattern [3] and operation [subtract],
         write down 30, 27, 24, 21, 18, 15.
    Now challenge the other person to work out the rule of your pattern.
    Hmm, 30, 27, 24, 21, 18, 15. The numbers are going down by three, so your rule was to subtract three!

Go online

For online reinforcement, Musical times will give your child practice at:

  • creating repeating patterns by setting rules.

Circus towers: square will give your child practice at:

  • exploring square numbers and how this number pattern can be represented in different ways.



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Last modified
15 April 2020