Term 2 Week 7 – Man Made Patterns

During this week we explored patterns made by man with particular focus on what children might create using different media.

The following are some examples you might want to experiment with your children.

Starting from the left hand side painting/drawing with cotton buds, chalk, finger painting, plate washing sponges, bottle corks and rope.

The children watched a sweet story called I ain’t gonna paint no more written by Karen Beaumont.

The children worked on a project in small groups where they painted away on cardboard sheets using different shaped stamps.

Part of these painted cardboard sheets were transformed into lovely colourful butterflies which are hanging in our class garden   :).  Other painting patterns created by the children will be transformed into little crafts which the children will bring home at end of term.

Here are some photos of the children experimenting with paint.


The words paint, led us to the first letter we worked with this week – p for paint.  You can find more information under the literacy blog.



Term 2 Week 6 – Patterns In Nature – Part 3

During the sixth week of the second term we continued looking at patterns found in insects.  The children were asked questions regarding the facts mentioned the week before.  We then added more insects to our list by looking at part of a video clip which is the following:

Learning Insects Names and Sounds

Our magnifying glass took a closer look at one of these creatures the bumblebee.


  • These insects live in huge groups called a colony.
  • One family is made up of workers which happen to be female. These females work, work and work: drones which are the males and the famous queen who is bigger than the rest of the group and she lays eggs.


  • The tiny baby bees hatch out of the big number of eggs that only the queen produces.


  • These insects are very intelligent for their size and they talk to each other not by words but by means of a special dance called “the waggle”. The shape they create through dancing will tell the colony where the precise location of these flowers is and they go to feed on the nectar found in them.

The Waggle Dance –


  • As they do this they pick up a yellow dust called pollen also found on the flowers. This pollen is then deposited on other flowers and this is how new flowers grow.


  • Bees live in hives which they make or which are produced by humans.


  • The children learnt that this is a special insect because it produces honey. A delicacy that humans eat and use.

Insect song

During the week the children also created a firefly.  Besides attaching all the body parts together the children enjoyed dipping the end bit in glitter symbolizing when these creatures tail glows in the dark.  They were really fascinated by this.

The firefly craft is hanging in our garden outside the classroom too   🙂


Term 2 Week 5 Patterns In Nature – Part 2

Besides working with patterns found on animals we also started talking about insects and the pattern we find on their bodies.


The children watched a story called The Grouchy Ladybug by Eric Carle.

They became aware of some interesting facts pertaining to these creatures.  They learnt that insects have 6 legs; their body has three parts; head, thorax and abdomen; these creatures taste with their feet as they do not have a nose and they feel with the antennae or feelers they have on their head.

Such insects could be the butterfly, the ladybird, the bee and the beetle amongst others.  More information will be provided and discussed next week.

The children started creating a wall collage which includes such insects.  We will continue this project next week too.

The first thing they created was a ladybird or a bubble bee depending on which craft image was drawn up from our magic bag.  They stuck the different parts of the body, eyes, feelers, spots, strips etc.

This linked us to the introduction of the number for this week – Number 2, where the children practiced the value by counting the different insect parts. The writing for this number will take place next week.


Next week these crafts should be up on the wall outside our classroom.

This topic linked us to the next letter – letter i.  We did the ground work revision covering the first term (See previous literacy blogs).  Writing skills for this letter will take place next week too.


Term 2 Week 5 Patterns in Nature – Part 1


We started off our fifth week with a story called, The Tiger Who Came To Tea by Judith Kerr.

This story linked us to both topic works: patterns in nature because of the tiger strips as well as to the letter of the day, t for tiger.


Besides discussing the story we worked on picture story sequencing where the children tried to remember what comes next in the story by looking at various pictures and listening to various questions.

The children got to know that animals have patterns and why they have them.  They leanrt the big word camouflage and spoke about what it means. They also watched this video clip.

The children investigated the strips these fascinating animals have when compared to other patterned animals.

The children created a craft with this topic.  They painted a tiger face made out of a paper plate using orange paint and then they recreated the strips that we see on the tiger’s body.

We found tine for two more stories which are the following

Where are my stripes –

Never Tickle a tiger (Story till 7’16’’)

Using this topic helped us link to one of the letters we wrote this week letter t.  More information under the literacy section.


Term 2 Week 4 – Repeated Patterns Part 1

The topic for our fourth week was still patterns with particular focus on repetition.

Thus we took the yoyo as one of our main examples as this has a repetitive up and down motion as well as a swirling motion.

The children learnt to appreciate that different people have different talents no matter what age you are.  As you all know the children got in toys and other items to show the repeated patterns on them.  Please see other blogs for photos.

The Spectacular Yoyo Show

Since there is a fire display with this video I also reminded the children that they cannot play with matches or fire of any sort.

The world’s best kid’s yoyo champion

The children created their own yoyos by rolling pieces of kite paper into tiny balls and then stuck them onto a piece of circular cardboard.  These are hanging on our bulletin board outside our door   🙂

Such an exercise is very good to strengthen their hand muscles for a better pencil grip and pressure whilst writing.  This also linked us to the new letter for this week y-yoyo.  More details in the literacy section.


The children were exposed to more stories which are related to patterns.  This is one of them – Pattern Fish were the children participated in saying which is the next pattern to follow.

Two important stories we followed during circle time was The Kindness Quilt by Nancy Elizabeth Wallace and Milly and Molly’s Patchwork Quilt

Besides looking at patterns in quilts we also discussed what kindness means for each and every one of us in class.

The children voiced their ideas clearly.  Some said that kindness is doing something good for others, some said sharing their toys, having nice hands and expressing themselves with lovely words.

Others said no hitting, punching or kicking.  The children created their own patchwork quilt craft using 2 coloured strips of paper and gluing them onto a piece of cardboard in a checked pattern.

These stories are linked to the other letter of the week – q for quilt.  More details in the literacy blog.  They are also linked to the next number we wrote.  Follow the numeracy blog for further details and songs.

The Kindness Quilt – (The story starts at 1’25’’)

Milly and Molly’s Patchwork Quilt



Patterns in Music

musical patterns.jpg

During this week we focused on patterns in music.  I introduced the topic by helping the children understand that one of our senses is very special that of hearing.

We are bombarded with sounds that happen around us but most often we listen to the sounds we want to.

At times we do not stop to appreciate some of the sounds we hear.  So to help the children start understanding and appreciating this we played a game in class.

Game – Stop and listen to sounds.

Everyone had to remain quiet for 5 minutes and listen to the sounds around us.  We then mentioned what each one of us heard.  They came up with sounds that had meaning to them such as a teacher talking, children laughing, a chair being moved, a car engine outside, a lorry horn, people walking, and a ball being thrown.

This is an exercise that you can play at home with your children.  It helps them develop their listening skills for their future life.  Very often we hear what is happening around us but we listen to what we want.

On another day we did the same exercise but appreciated the sound of silence.  Sometimes it is a good thing to stop and appreciate silence.

The children became aware that we can make sounds with practically everything around us.  We created a sound pattern by using our hands for clapping and feet for stomping.  We used a pattern sequence such as 1,2,3,4 – meaning 1 = clap one time, 2 = stomp 2 times, 3 = yawn 1 time, 4 = bang 4 times on the table etc.  This is simple example on line.

Clapping Machine – Jack Hartmann –

We also took a closer look at various instruments we can find around us by listening to various songs:  Some are the following:

Musical Instruments Sounds for Kids – Part 1

The Best Sounds around (Instruments) –

They listened to the sounds various instruments make in the following game where we mentioned what the various instruments are called.  They really enjoyed listening to the sounds the instruments made.


Some said they wanted to learn an instrument such as the violin, the guitar, the saxophone and the piano.  Others said that they had a piano at home   🙂

We went slightly professional and created a piece of music with various instruments by using a basic and simple programme called Splice Sound Maker.  Here is the link below for the children to have a try.

This is how it works. The children create a beat by clicking on the various buttons found on the grid.  Each horizontal row represents an instrument.  You can then record it and listen to your little masterpiece again.  The children were really pleased with the little musical piece they created.  Their first attempt was just noise but when they used a pattern they actually created an amateur musical piece.   🙂

Splice Sound Maker –


Here is their beat –


We took a very close look at two instruments which are linked to the two new letters for week 3, v and x.  See literacy blogs for more details and photos.


Term 2 Week 2 – Patterns and Animal Coats – Part 5

The second topic for this week was also related to animals.  This time we looked at sheep, rabbits and goats.  All these creatures have something in common.  They do not grow fur but wool on their body.


The children were really interested in this topic.

  • They got to know that this wool protects these animals against the cold in winter months.
  • However wool grows just like our hair grows on our head and so this wool needs to be sheared (cut off).
  • I stressed that these animals do not hurt when the wool is sheared off. On the contrary some of them might be relieved because the wool would weight a lot on their backs.
  • They learnt that humans as always found good use for this wool.
  • Sheep’s wool is made into jumpers, socks and blankets.
  • Rabbit’s wool is made into angora coats and hats.
  • Goat’s wool is turned into cashmere coats.


The children were fascinated when they watched a video clip of sheep being sheared.  Some even said that they wanted this job when they grew up!!!

Shearing Sheep –

The children also observed the patterns created in the wool after it was woven into the various garments.

Wool was the link to our next letter for this week, w for wool.  You will find more information in the literacy blog.


Patterns in Nature and Animal Coats – Part 4

zebra 1.png

The next patterned animal we spoke about was the zebra.  The children followed a story called Zack the Lazy Zebra written by Wendy Cheyette Lewison.

You can follow the story in the link below.

We discussed the story and gave it our own ending.  The children were asked to mention all the words which start with z in the story.  We then took a closer look at zebras as an animal.

The children observed the stripes on a zebra’s body.  These are some of the facts we went through and which you can use as a spark to start a conversation.

  • They learnt that although the zebra stripes are white and black or black and white no two zebra patterns are alike. Each zebra has a unique pattern.
  • These animals form part of the equidae family along with horse and donkeys.
  • Experts say they have stripes for camouflage just like the jaguars have spots.
  • Wild zebras live in Africa.
  • Zebras are very fast-moving animals.
  • They are generally social animals that live in small harems to large herds.
  • Zebras are herbivores and eat mostly different types of grass, but they also eat bark, herbs and shrubs. Zebras prefer full green grass that is short and near the ground.
  • Zebras only sleep when they are in large groups so that they can be alerted of danger.
  • A typical zebra family consists of a male, called a stallion, several females, called mares, and their children called foals.

Video Clip – Zebras for Kids

For each difficult word which the children might not understand like bark, shrubs and herbs they are shown a picture on the board to help them understand further.

The children created their own zebra craft which was linked to both our literacy lessons and numeracy lessons as well.

Further details are found under the respective blogs.  The zebras are hanging outside our door.

They are similar to the zebra picture below.

zebra 2



Term 2 Week 2 – Patterns In Nature and Animal Coats Part 3

This week we explored this topic further.

We looked at many other patterns in nature as well as man-made ones keeping our main focus on animals.   The children eagerly come to tell us which patterns they might have seen the previous day or what they can observe in class, books and out and about.

Some of them mentioned the following sweaters they wore with stripes; insects such as the bee which has stripes too; the repeated colours they had in them; water ripple effects when they played in the bath; the lava that oozes out of the volcano when it erupts; flowers with endless pattern work and food in various shapes.

Here are some pictures of the patterns they mentioned.


The children started getting their little pattern cutouts from home and showing the patterns they chose in front of the class.  Well done Jeanmarie, Sophie, Zara and Neil.

I encourage all the other children to do the same and get a small cutout from a magazine or wrapping paper which has a pattern design on it so we can hang them up on our topic wall outside the classroom.

After this general overview we continued working with the jaguar theme which we started last week.  The children learnt some general knowledge about this fascinating animal.   These are some facts we went through which you can discuss with them at home or develop the topic even further through book reading and watching videos.


  • Jaguars form part of the cat family. In fact it is the 3rd largest of the big cats after the tiger and the lion and it is the largest of all the big cats in the Americas.
  • They are solitary animals and live and hunt alone.
  • They usually hunt at night and drag their food up a tree to keep it safe.
  • Like all members of the big cat family, jaguars can roar.
  • Unlike other cats, the jaguar loves the water — it often swims, bathes, plays and even hunts for fish in streams and pools.
  • Jaguars are carnivores, they prey on over 80 species of animal of all sizes, such as deer, pigs, capybara, foxes, fish, frogs and even large anaconda snakes.
  • The jaguar often leaps into water or from a tree onto its prey.
  • The jaguar has a very powerful jaw; its bite is more powerful than that of a lion.
  • Finally they got to know that the spots on the jaguar are slightly different than that of their cousins the leopard. Those of a jaguar have a black spot in the middle of most of their pattern.

Video Clip – Roar! Meet the Big Cats! –

J – Jaguar song –


Our work with letter j came to an end with some hands on exercises where the children had to sort out letter j beans from assortments of other letters and different sized beans and bottle caps.  They also played various interactive whiteboard games white focused on this letter sound.

Here are a few photos of the letter j activities.



Term 1 Week 1 – Patterns In Nature and Animal Coats – Part 2

During the last day of the week we started working with letter sound j.

The children first watched a story during circle time called Story – Jungleberry Jamboree by Helen H Moore

We then discussed the patterns we could make with images in the story such as using the spots on the jaguar, the apples on the tree, the spots on the saxophone which one of the jaguars was playing, the jaguars finger nails, the whiskers of each animal etc.

They also created a jaguar craft using the j as the body of the animal. They struck the head, eyes and ears, arms and legs.

They then created their random spotted pattern by using the back tip of a pencil dipped in paint.

The jaguars are already stuck on our bulletin board outside our classroom.