Activities to Teach Students to Graph Patterns Using Rules

Graphing patterns is an important skill for students to learn in mathematics. It involves identifying patterns in a series of numbers or objects and representing them on a graph. To teach students this skill, several activities can be done to make the process engaging and fun. Here are some activities to teach students to graph patterns using rules.

1. Exploring Pattern Rules

The first step in teaching students to graph patterns using rules is to help them learn how to identify pattern rules. A pattern rule is a set of instructions that tells students how to generate a sequence of numbers or objects. You can use various manipulatives such as cubes, counters, blocks, and beads, to demonstrate different types of patterns.

Begin by showing students how to identify and create simple patterns such as repeating sequences or increasing or decreasing sequences. Have them work in pairs to create their own patterns and share them with the class. Challenge students to identify the rule of each pattern and graph them.

2. Graphing Patterns on a Coordinate Plane

After students have mastered identifying pattern rules, the next step is graphing patterns on a coordinate plane. A coordinate plane is a two-dimensional grid of horizontal and vertical lines. The x-axis represents the horizontal line, while the y-axis represents the vertical line. The point where the two axes intersect is called the origin.

To introduce graphing patterns, show students how to plot points on a coordinate plane. Have them create simple shapes such as squares, triangles, and rectangles by connecting the plotted points. Then, introduce patterns that can be graphed on the coordinate plane such as linear, quadratic, and exponential.

3. Mystery Pattern

Mystery Pattern is a fun activity that challenges students to identify a pattern based on its graph. To begin the activity, create a pattern on a coordinate plane and hide the equation or rule used to create it. Provide students with the graph of the pattern and have them work in pairs to identify the rule.

As students become more proficient, increase the complexity of the patterns and graphs. This activity helps students develop their critical thinking and problem-solving skills.

4. Graphing Calculator

Graphing calculators can be an excellent tool to teach students to graph patterns. They help students visualize patterns and explore different mathematical functions. Have students learn how to enter equations on a graphing calculator and generate graphs based on the pattern rule.

To make learning more interactive, have students create their own equations and graph them on the calculator. They can also compare and contrast different patterns using the calculator.


Teaching students to graph patterns using rules requires a variety of activities that engage and challenge them. By exploring pattern rules, graphing patterns on a coordinate plane, playing Mystery Pattern, and using a graphing calculator, students can develop their critical thinking and problem-solving skills. With practice, they become proficient in graphing various types of patterns and interpreting their significance in real-world situations.


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