Creating Patterns


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Draw a variety of AB patterns (AB, ABA, AABA) on the board using shapes and/or colors, etc. Ask students to identify how to name these patterns and the attributes that make each one a pattern.

Explain that patterns can happen in the world around us. Ask students to think of examples of AB patterns, and write examples on the board. Look around the classroom to find examples as well. Give each student a set of attribute blocks and have them practice arranging them in various AB patterns. Allow them to also explore creating ABA, AABA, ABB, etc. Display examples of visual art from Google Art Project (links to the side), and have students create patterns with attribute blocks to match patterns in the artwork.

Lesson Process:

Step 1: Ask students to create movement patterns based on the AB patterns that were displayed in the pre-assessment. Choose two different movements for each pattern (e.g., create an ABA pattern with skipping and marching movements).

Step 2: Listen to “Trepak” from The Nutcracker. Ask students to notice various elements of the music.

Step 3:  During a second listening of “Trepak,” guide students to an awareness of the ABA pattern in the music.

Step 4:  During a third listening, ask students to “map” the form of the song using attribute blocks as they hear each new section.

Step 5:  Divide students into groups. Ask each group to choreograph an ABA movement piece to go along with “Trepak.”

Time Required:
30-45 minutes

Materials List:



Allow each group time to present their dance sequence along with the music. After each group’s performance, have other students discuss how their movements demonstrated an ABA form or pattern.