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Picturing Patterns

Many works of art and architecture are made by using one or two shapes in a repetitive pattern. Repeating patterns are also used to design fabric and wallpaper. Use everyday found objects as stamps and create a patterned masterpiece.

  • Grade 2
    Grade 3
    Grade 4
  • 30 Minutes or Less
  • Directions

    1. Discuss some items that use repetitive patterns in their designs. Some examples are wallpaper, oriental rugs, fabric, wrapping paper, tile floors, etc. The artist Victor Vasarely used many repeating lines and shapes to create his paintings. He was known as the “Father of Op Art.” Show examples of some objects and art that incorporate these ideas.
    2. Collect found objects that could be used to paint and stamp onto paper. For example: a pencil eraser, a cap of a Crayola® Washable Marker, cut out shapes from cardboard, bubble wrap, cookie cutters, a cardboard tube or corrugated cardboard, etc. Make sure that all items used could either be washed with water when finished or thrown out.
    3. Cover work space with recycled newspaper and provide paper towels for cleaning.
    4. Students select a piece of any Crayola Construction paper and pour each color of Artista II® Washable Tempera Paint into a clean, recycled foam produce tray. Use Arts & Crafts Brushes or foam rollers to apply paint to each found object. Encourage students to gently stamp each painted object onto their construction paper.
    5. Encourage children to use a repetitive design in their art work. Use stamps in horizontal or vertical lines; use one stamp for each row. This application will create an all over pattern.
    6. Washable Tempera Paint cleans up with soap and water. Wash brushes and any objects you will use again after use. Allow art work to dry before hanging.
  • Standards

    LA: Participate in collaborative conversations with diverse partners about grade level topics and texts with peers and adults in small and larger groups.

    MATH: Generate and analyze patterns.

    MATH: Reason with shapes and their attributes.

    VA: Students will investigate, plan and work through materials and ideas to make works of art and design.

    VA: Students analyze how art communicates about and helps viewers understand the natural and constructed world.

  • Adaptations

    Symmetry and pattern repetition create a balance in nature. Often artists and artisans are inspired by these designs and use them in their art. Look at Native American Pottery and you will see repetitive patterns in the design on their vessels. The Cherokee Indians also used stamps to decorate their pottery. Make a stamp out of a recycled clean foam produce tray. Use nature as your inspiration. Use a pencil and draw a design on the tray by pressing into the plastic to create grooves. Brush or roll paint onto the tray and press a piece of paper onto it to make a print.

    Think about things around the house and school that are patterns that repeat. Windows, floor tiles, desks, blackboards are a few of the items that use these patterns. Make a list of these items and write sentences describing them using the correct geometric terms.


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