Activities to Teach Students to Find the Next Shape in a Repeating Pattern

Repeating patterns are an essential component of mathematics. They help students understand the basic concepts of symmetry, geometry, and algebra. In this article, we will explore several activities that teachers can use to teach their students how to find the next shape in a repeating pattern.

1. Pattern Block Puzzles

Pattern block puzzles are a fun and engaging way for students to learn about repeating patterns. These puzzles consist of various geometric shapes in different colors and sizes. The goal of the activity is to create a repeating pattern using the pattern blocks and then ask the students to find the next shape in the pattern.

To begin, teachers can show students a simple pattern, such as red, blue, green, red, blue, green. After that, students can move on to more complex patterns, such as ABC, DEF, GHI, ABC, DEF, GHI. Then, students can be asked to identify and replicate the patterns they have created, followed by asking them to find the next shape in the sequence.

2. Patterning with Cubes

Using cubes to teach students about repeating patterns is an excellent way to introduce them to the concept of three-dimensional shapes. To begin, teachers can provide students with a set of colored cubes and ask them to make a repeating pattern. Once the initial pattern has been created, students can be asked to find the next shape in the pattern.

For instance, if the pattern is blue, yellow, green, blue, yellow, green, students should be able to identify that the next shape would be blue. Teachers can also add more complexity to the activity, such as varying the size or shape of the blocks.

3. Building Repeating Patterns with Stamps

Using stamps to create repeating patterns is an engaging activity that can help students visualize and understand repeating patterns better. Students can start by using a set of rubber stamps or foam shapes, such as triangles, circles, and squares, to create a simple pattern.

Next, students can be asked to find the next shape in the pattern. Teachers can also use this activity to encourage students to add their own creative touch by designing their own patterns.

4. Using Technology

Technology can be an excellent tool for teaching students about repeating patterns. Teachers can use various online tools and apps, such as Pattern Mania, Number Patterns, and Repeating Pattern Games to help students practice identifying and creating repeating patterns.

For instance, the Pattern Mania app allows students to drag and drop shapes to create patterns, followed by identifying the next shape in the sequence. Similarly, the Repeating Pattern Games app provides students with a set of shapes to create patterns that they can then evaluate.


Teaching students how to identify and create repeating patterns can be a lot of fun. The activities listed in this article are just a starting point for any teacher looking to teach their students about repeating patterns. The most important thing is to get students involved, engaged, and excited about discovering the patterns that surround them. By doing so, students will not only develop their math skills but also develop a love for learning

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