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Web Quests




Students have been invited to create three wallpaper border patterns for a wallpaper company. Along with each pattern they create, they will attach a description of the pattern to help the company designer make the wallpaper.

The website provides students with virtual manipulatives that replicate the pattern blocks that they have used in the classroom throughout the unit. The virtual manipulatives, when moved onto the screen, rotate, change size, colour and, in some cases, outline colour.


  • Identify, describe, extend and create patterns.


Some students will continue to need the concrete pattern blocks with which to create their patterns.

  • Allow students to have the pattern blocks next to them when they are at the computer.
  • Have students create several patterns with the pattern blocks before moving to the computer.
  • Some students have difficulty making a design that follows a horizontal line, as a wallpaper border does. These students would benefit from placing the pattern blocks on grid paper rather than plain paper. Using adding machine tape would also ensure that the pattern is horizontal.


  1. Discuss what types of wallpaper students have seen. Look at examples of wallpaper borders, especially those with clear geometric patterns.
  2. Introduce students to the task. Ask them what type of wallpaper border they would like to see in their own rooms.
  3. Pair the students and have them explore the website. Allow students time to design as many patterns as they wish. Encourage them to choose the 3 best.
  4. Instruct students on the process of saving and printing their designs.
  5. Provide students with the opportunity to describe their patterns. They may write their description by hand or use a word processing program.



           Pattern blocks (optional)
           Coloured pencils (optional)
           Grid paper (optional)
           Paper strips such as adding machine tape (optional)


           Pattern Block



Level 1

Level 2

Level 3

Level 4

Pattern Creativity

•  Patterns are similar in number, colour and shape.

•  Patterns use colour and shape.

•  They are usually simple ABABAB type patterns.

•  Patterns use several attributes in an interesting way.

•  Several different patterns are created.

•  A variety of patterns use many attributes in creative ways.

Pattern Quality

•  Patterns have several errors.

•  Patterns have a few errors.

•  Patterns are correctly created.

•  Patterns are complicated and have no errors.



•  Patterns are described briefly using personal language only.

•  Description uses some math language and student attempts to tell how patterns were made.

•  Clear explanation of how patterns were made using some additional details.

•  Some math language is used.

•  Clear and interesting details are provided.

•  Math language is consistently and correctly used.