NIFTY NUMBER PATTERNS – Pattern, Measurement

Students use construction paper to create a woven design based on a number pattern.

Required Time

80 Minutes

Grade Level

Grade 1 to Grade 4


Language Arts
Visual Arts


contrast horizontal parallel pattern vertical warp weaving weft


Construction Paper - 22.9 cm x 30.5 cm (9" x 12") Glue Sticks Scissors Rulers Pencils


NIFTY NUMBER PATTERNS – Pattern, Measurement - Step One

Step One

  1. Fold the construction paper in half, short end to short end.
  2. Place the paper on your desk with the fold at the bottom.
  3. Measure and draw a line 2.5 cm down from the top of the paper, and parallel to it.
    - call this the HORIZONTAL LINE
  4. Measure and mark 1.3 cm spaces along the line.
  5. Measure and mark matching 1.3 cm spaces parallel to the folded edge of the paper.
NIFTY NUMBER PATTERNS – Pattern, Measurement - Step Two

Step Two

  1. Draw lines that connect the 1.3 cm marks and are parallel to the outside edges of the paper.
    - call these the VERTICAL LINES
NIFTY NUMBER PATTERNS – Pattern, Measurement - Step Three

Step Three

  1. Carefully cut along the vertical lines.
  2. Stop at the horizontal line.
NIFTY NUMBER PATTERNS – Pattern, Measurement - Step Four

Step Four

  1. Choose a number pattern, for example, over 4, under 2.
  2. Start weaving from left to right.
    - a weft strip of paper over 4 warp strips, then under 2
    - repeat until you get to the end
NIFTY NUMBER PATTERNS – Pattern, Measurement - Step Five

Step Five

  1. Start your next row weaving from right to left.
    - a weft strip of paper over 4 warp strips, then under 2
    - repeat until you get to the end
NIFTY NUMBER PATTERNS – Pattern, Measurement - Step Six

Step Six

  1. Continue weaving your pattern, repeating steps 4 and 5, until the whole paper is filled.
  2. Make sure your weaving shows your number pattern.
  3. Glue the ends of the paper strips in place and trim them with scissors.
  4. Label your weaving with the name of the number pattern you used.
    - notice how the pattern changes on the back of the paper

Learning Goals

Students will be able to:

  • create a paper weaving;
  • use colour to create contrast;
  • create and accurately repeat a pattern rule;
  • explain pattern rules in their own and others' weavings; 
  • demonstrate technical accomplishment and creativity.


Have students:

  • choose a country that has a weaving tradition and learn about it, for exmple, Ghana;
    - read books about Ghana and kente cloth, e.g., The Spider Weaver: A Legend of Kente Cloth 2nd Edition, by Margaret Musgrove;       Kente Colors, by Debbi Chocolate; and Kente cloth patterns to color, by kwaku ofori-ansa;
    - view images of traditional weaving from the Internet, e.g.,

       Kente Cloth
       Kente Festival

    - work in small groups to discuss the images of the kente cloth and how it is worn; 
    - learn about the significance of the colours in kente cloth;
    - create weavings using cloth strips, or yarn and a simple loom;
    - share their work with peers;
  • compare the traditions of the various countries presented by their peers.


  1. Cut paper strips in a variety of colours, 1.3 cm x 22.9 cm 
  2. Gather and make available books on the theme of weaving such as The Goat in the Rug, by Charles L. Blood and The Chief's Blanket, by Michael Chanin.
  3. Prior to this lesson provide time for exploring patterns and pattern rules.
  4. Create a sample weaving. 


  1. Conduct a read-aloud using a book such as A Goat in the Rug, by Charles L. Blood.
  2. Use 2 colours of strips of paper to demonstrate the difference between weft and warp.
    weft – the horizontal threads that move over and under the warp in a weaving
    warp – the fixed threads that run up and down in a weaving.
  3. Demonstrate how to choose a number pattern rule for weaving, and what it would look like, for example,
    - over 1, under 5
    - over 2, under 1
    - over 4, under 2
  4. Introduce the challenge. 


The Challenge

  1. Create a paper weaving.
  2. Use colour to create contrast.
  3. Create and accurately repeat a number pattern rule.
  4. Explain pattern rules in your own and others' weavings.
  5. Demonstrate technical accomplishment and creativity.

The Process

  1. Make sure that everyone understands the challenge.
  2. Establish success criteria with your students, for example,
    I know I am successful when I have:
    - used contrasting colours 
    - accurately repeated a number pattern rule
    - created a weaving that is tight and holds together
    - used a small amount of glue 
    - kept the paper in good condition
  3. Guide students through the steps outlined in the lesson plan. 
  4. Demonstrate how to carefully thread the weft strips through the warp to create the weaving.
  5. Observe students as they create their weaving.
  6. Provide individual assistance and encouragement.


  1. Once all weavings are complete place students in partners or small groups. Ask them to:
    - Look closely at each weaving and observe how they are the same, how they are different.
    ​- Share thoughts about the weavings.
    - Talk about how each weaving demonstrates a number pattern.
    - Identify and describe the patterns in the weavings.

    Talk about what was difficult about making the weaving and explain why.
    - Tell what was satisfying about making the weaving and explain why. 
  2. Ask some students to share their weavings and ideas with the whole class.
  3. Display the weavings so students can view them as a body of work throughout the next few weeks.


  1. Observe students as they work – thoughtful focus, discriminating, seeking more information, elaborating, experimenting.
  2. Observe students as they discuss their weavings – speaks with a clear voice, looks at audience while speaking, holds weaving to the side, provides accurate information, answers questions from the audience effectively.
  3. Observe students as they listen – looks at presenter, asks effective questions, supports ideas with evidence found in the artwork.
  4. Use a checklist to track progress. (Downloads - Patterns_tracking.pdf).
  5. Have students use the self-assessment form to evaluate their work. (Downloads - Patterns_self-assessment.pdf)