Activity Introduction

cc-primary9-heroQuick summary: During this lesson students identify and explore different types of patterns. They work in pairs to collect natural items from the outdoor learning space. Students create repeating patterns using natural items, which the teacher can photograph.

This lesson is designed to be taught outside. It contains all the tools required for students to reap the benefits of being outdoors while learning the outcomes of the Australian Curriculum. By spending time outdoors and connecting to nature, students are more likely to care for and conserve nature as adults.

We’ve taken elements of this lesson and adapted them for remote learning. You can find this activity here.


Essential questions:

  • What are natural items?
  • What is a pattern?
  • What are the mental, physical and academic benefits of completing classroom activities outside?

21st century skills:

tree tally skills cc

Australian Curriculum Mapping

Content descriptions:

Foundation Mathematics

  • Sort and classify familiar objects and explain the basis for these classifications. Copy, continue and create patterns with objects and drawings (ACMNA005) 

Syllabus outcomes: MAe‑1WM, MAe‑2WM, MAe‑3WM, MAe‑8NA.

General capabilities: Numeracy.

Cross-curriculum priority: Sustainability OI.2.

Relevant parts of Foundation achievement standards: Students group objects based on common characteristics and sort shapes and objects.

Topic: Outdoor Learning, Biodiversity.

Unit of work: Outdoor Learning Unit.

Time required: 45 mins

Level of teacher scaffolding: High – the teacher leads students in rhymes and movements, reads a story, models examples of concepts and takes photos of students’ learning.

Resources required: Device capable of taking photos.

Digital technology opportunities: Digital photography, digital sharing capabilities.

Keywords: sustainability, nature, patterns, maths, repeating, mathematics, outdoor learning.

Cool Australia would like to thank The Albert George & Nancy Caroline Youngman Trust – managed by Equity Trustees.

Youngman Trust Logo

Cool Australia’s curriculum team continually reviews and refines our resources to be in line with changes to the Australian Curriculum.


Teacher Worksheet

cc-primary1-heroTeacher preparation

Overarching learning goal: Students understand how to identify and create different types of patterns. They recognise a range of different patterns, including those that can be found in nature.

Outdoor learning information:

Outdoor Learning Series:


To help guide teachers through suggested activities in this lesson, we have developed a series of icons designed to show what types of activities are involved and where these activities may take place (see Learning Activity Key below).

learning activity icons key updated-v3

This lesson is designed to support students and teachers undertaking the Outdoor Learning Unit. Click here to view the Unit Outline.

Teacher content information: There are many different types of patterns. They could be visual, numerical, musical or movement-based. We can see patterns

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