This fun Pattern Detective Game gives kids a chance to create and guess patterns. At the beginning you’ll have to display some sample patterns on the board. Their patterns definitely need to have some underlying structure, such as A, B, C, C, D, D, A, B, C, C, D, D. Over a period of time, kids will figure out how to create patterns that are harder for their opponents to crack.

It’s probably a good idea to tell them that they can’t use any one letter more than two times in a row. In that way, the most letters they can use for a pattern sequence would be eight. Then the pattern would repeat. As they get more skilled with the game, you can allow them to use any one letter more than three times in a row or adapt other rules of the game.

It’s good mental work to flip back and forth between the letter patterns, the questions to ask to uncover the patterns, and the ordered numbered list that keeps the process of discovery of the pattern ordered and manageable. Keeping a record of the questions that yielded an incorrect answer will help kids figure out what question to ask next.

Another possible fun adaptation of this game is to use it for geometric figures. Have students create patterns using triangles, circles, squares, and rectangles. Use the same methodology–they can’t use any one figure more than two times in a row.

As mentioned in the instructions, once students have developed a level of proficiency with this game, you can have them move on to arithmetic and geometric number patterns.

Common Core Mathematical Standard 5.OA Analyze patterns and relationships.

Common Core Standards for Mathematical Practice
7. Look for and make use of structure.