Friday, July 15, 2011

A-B-A-B-A- a Book of Pattern Play

Different ways to look at patterning!

Cleary, Brian P.
A-B-A-B-A - a Book of Pattern Play.
August 2010.
Lerner Publishing.
Review copy provided courtesy of publisher.

Starting out with the definition of a pattern, Brian P. Cleary works to familiarize children with patterns, specifically different types of patterns while providing samples of what they "look" like. The book starts out with the simplest pattern, ABABA. Most of my Head Start 4 year olds are familiar with and able to make and continue that type of pattern. However, the text that goes along with introducing this pattern seemed to me as something that would be beyond the comprehension level of the same age group. The patterns quickly become more abstract (using numbers and counting by 2s) and would definitely be above the understanding of your typical preschooler who is learning patterns.

I think this book is well written, but most likely appropriate for older children (grades 3-6) who are able to read and explore with patterns on their own. It could also be modified by a parent or teacher to use appropriately with younger children, simply by omitting pages that seem too advanced for younger children!

Learning/Reading Activities:
  • Break out some household groceries (I'm thinking Fruit Loops cereal, colored gold fish crackers, M&Ms, etc.). Spread them out on the table before snack time and have your child explore making different patterns. If he/she has a hard time getting started, start a pattern and then see if he/she can add on to it.
  • As for the daily summer journal activity, head out into nature with your camera for a nature walk. Spend some time looking for patterns in nature. When you find a pattern, take a picture. Get the pictures developed or print them after your walk and glue them into your child's summer journal. Have him/her spend time writing about the patterns or sharing with you while you dictate!

If you're interested in finding out more information about any of the books reviewed or if you'd like to purchase the books, click the cover image for a link to I am an Amazon Affiliate, so any purchases you make after clicking these images will result in my receiving a small percentage of the sale price!