See, Touch, and Say a Pattern

Use a School Readiness Activity to provide early mathematics thinking experiences for preschool children that will prepare them to do well in the early grades.
Mathematics (5,032)

See, Touch, and Say a Pattern


  • To recognize and duplicate patterns

Red and Blue Crayons (at least 3 of each)
About 12 each of the following construction paper shapes to create bulletin board models: large and small red triangles, large and small yellow triangles
About 12 more of each shape, size, and color for children to duplicate and extend patterns

Literature Suggestion
Read and discuss We're Going on a Bear Hunt, retold by Michael Rosen, or another book that has a predictable pattern.


  • Say and do these actions: "Clap your hands, slap your knees, clap your hands, slap your knees." Ask children to join you as you continue. Then explain that everyone is doing a clap, slap pattern and ask what action they think should come next.
  • Lay out red and blue crayons or construction paper shapes in an AB pattern. As you point to each, say, "Red, blue, red, blue..." Explain that you are creating a red, blue pattern and ask children what color they think should come next.
  • Tell the children that you are on a pattern hunt and as you scan the room, point out other AB patterns that are easy for the children to recognize.


Cut out and put these patterns on a bulletin board in easy reach of the children, leaving space between the pattern rows so that children can duplicate the patterns directly below.
  • Show children how to see, touch, and say, while you read the first pattern. Touch each pattern piece as you say, "Small, large, small, large, small, large." Ask children to read the pattern with you.
  • Show children how to duplicate the patterns.
  • Teacher Tip: At least three repetitions are needed to establish a pattern.
Have children work with one color of triangles, such as the small and large yellow triangles, to explore AAB pattern possibilities.

Observation Assessment

  • Proficient - Child can identify a pattern by sight and duplicate it.
  • In Process - With help, child can see, touch, and say a pattern, but has difficulty duplicating the pattern.
  • Not Yet Ready - Child does not yet see, touch, and say a pattern.

Excerpted from

School Readiness Activity Cards
Pearson Early Childhood
Excerpted from School Readiness Activity Cards. The Preschool Activity Cards provide engaging and purposeful experiences that develop language, literacy, and math skills for preschool children.
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