Math Lesson Plan: Bread Bag Tabs: Patterning

Bread Bag Closures Patterning
This is a fun patterning project reusing materials.

Learning Objectives:

  1. Practise patterning
  2. Learn about the 3R’s of recycling, reusing, reducing
  3. Practise the 3R’s (specifically, reusing)


  1. plastic tab closures from bread or milk bags
  2. paper strips 3″ wide by 12″ or more long
  3. white glue
  4. rulers for each student
  5. pencils for each student


  1. Tell students they can use different colour closures. They can put the circular opening of the square tab at the top, at the bottom, or on the left, or on the right side. They use COLOUR and POSITION to make their patterns. Have them put the printed date side down because it’s too difficult to match the dates.
  2. Students draw a STRAIGHT pencil line USING THEIR RULERS down the centre of the strip. Then they arrange the plastic closures in the centre of the strip, in their chosen pattern, ON the line (or above and below the line, for more complex patterns). After they CHECK their pattern, and make sure they have REPEATED the pattern at least once, they may GLUE the closures on their page.
  3. FOR GRADE 1’s: They need to use at least two different COLOURS or DIRECTIONS for level 3 (B) work. Once they have the idea of a pattern, and have demonstrated it correctly, have them check out the grade 2 examples before they start trying harder examples for level 4 work (A) using more at least four different colours or directions, and maybe even POSITIONS (angle it diamond shape or put it above or below the line).
  4. FOR GRADE 2’s: They can do the same as grade 1’s, explained in item 3 above (COLOUR, DIRECTION), but they can use up to 4 or 6 different colours or directions, but they need to show some ingenuity, like tilting one 1/4 turn to the left, or like a diamond-shape, and making the pattern consist of 4 to 6 different ideas, THEN REPEATING the pattern. Let them know your expectations for level 3 (maybe 4 ideas using colour and direction) and level 4 (A) maybe 6 or more ideas using colour, direction AND POSITION (angle the closures like a diamond, or put them below or above the line).

Tags: , , , , ,

How did this work for you? We'd love your feedback