Math Investigations

Help with Opening PDF Files

Chapter 2

Part 1: Home and School Investigation

Send the Letter to Family (PDF file) home with each child. Once each child has brought in a picture that describes a position, display the pictures for the class. Group the pictures by the position they show. For example, put all the pictures that show an object under another object together.

Part 2: Be an Investigator

A good time to do this investigation is after Lesson 8 on translating patterns.


  • pieces of 8 1/2” by 11” construction paper in different colors

Introducing the Investigation

Ask six volunteers to come to the front of the classroom. Give four of the children a piece of yellow construction paper each and two of the children one piece of blue construction paper each. Have each child hold the piece of construction paper so the rest of the class can see. Ask how the class might line the children to form a pattern with the construction paper. Try the children's suggestions, each time checking to see if they have made a pattern. Examples might be yellow, yellow, blue, yellow, yellow, blue or yellow, blue, yellow, yellow, blue, yellow. Each time you have a pattern ask the children what color would come next to continue the pattern. Have another volunteer stand up and hold that color of construction paper.

Doing the Investigation

Put the children in groups of six. Give some groups four pieces of construction paper of one color and two pieces of construction paper of another color. Give other groups six pieces of construction paper, two pieces each of three different colors.

Ask the children to form a line that shows a pattern with the pieces of construction paper. Give them some time to figure out their patterns. Have the groups show their patterns to the class one-by-one. If a group is not showing a clear pattern, get suggestions from the class about how the group could rearrange to create a pattern. In each case, ask children what would come next to continue the pattern and have volunteers stand up and hold construction paper to show how the pattern continues.

Extending the Investigation

Prepare a table with at least five different colors of construction paper. Let the groups choose the paper they want to create patterns.

Houghton Mifflin Math Grade K