Pattern Block Turkey Math Lesson Plan November 03 2010

According to this free Thanksgiving-themed lesson plan, it's hip to be square (or triangular, or rhomboid...).

These Pattern Block Turkeys are a fun way to work on important math skills with kids at a variety of ages. Appropriate for a whole group or small group math lesson, this activity is also a great addition to a math learning center with pattern block activities.

Since Thanksgiving is coming up, these Pattern Block Turkeys also make an excellent combination of math practice with artistic expression. Once your lesson is done, have your kids take them home to help decorate for the Thanksgiving holiday!

Practice with Patterns and More

These turkeys are ideal for introducing or reviewing geometry vocabulary and shape identification. The pattern blocks used in this lesson plan include hexagons, trapezoids, triangles, rhombuses, parallelograms and squares. The shapes are also color-coordinated, which helps students identify and remember the names of specific shapes.

The turkey pictured above was created using a symmetrical pattern, which would also be a good concept to introduce or review during this activity. Students could be required to create symmetrical turkeys or encouraged to create asymmetrical works of art depending on the kids in your class.

Creative Turkeys

While creativity is one goal of this project, each Pattern Block Turkey must begin with a central hexagon in the middle of the background paper. If you want larger and more elaborate turkeys, bigger background sheets are required. The background sheet in this case was a half-sheet. The pattern blocks were white photocopies from math curriculum, which can actually help your students with identifying them through quickly and correctly coloring them using crayons.

Aside from using the hexagon in the center as the turkey's body, the rest of the turkey is up to each student's preference! I encourage students to explore different patterns using the shapes, and refrain from gluing anything down on the background paper until they've made final decisions about their designs. These magnetic pattern blocks can also help kids plan out their creative turkey designs.

Display the Variety of Patterns

Once students are finished gluing their pattern block pieces, provide them with googly eyes and other art materials to help them make creative turkey faces.

Display the turkeys with this Pattern Block Turkey Page, using one half for each student. For each turkey, students must count up the amount of each shape, including hexagons, trapezoids, squares, triangles, parallelograms and rhombuses. I also included a phrase regarding the symmetry of the turkey at the bottom of each half-sheet.

Use these creative turkeys as a classroom or hallway bulletin board before sending them home with your students for a festive Thanksgiving decoration!