Grade 2

Pattern Recognition

Computational Thinker
Black background with different shapes


Computational thinking assists students to break down problems into smaller parts so that it is easier to understand and solve them. In all disciplines, students have problems to solve. Learning to use decomposition, pattern recognition, abstraction and algorithm design will help students reach success in all projects. Students can use computational thinking while working on a school project to coding and programming a game. The terms are difficult for a 2nd grader to learn, but they should begin learning the main concepts of computational thinking. In this task card, the focus will be on pattern recognition. 

Being able to recognize patterns is one of the fundamental steps in computational thinking. Patterns can help with efficiency, solve a problem, and allow for operations to be repeated so time is saved. In this task card, the students will learn how to look for patterns. 

Students will:

  • Be able to recognize patterns when they look at literature, music, stories, math, etc. 
  • Be able to use patterns for efficiency. 

Vocabulary Words:

  1. Pattern: A pattern is when the same thing is repeated over and over again. 

To prepare for this lesson:

  • Students start learning about patterns as early as pre-school. This is an important skill to learn as it prepares students to be able to see patterns in all disciplines. 

  • In 2nd grade, students will start recognizing more complex patterns in math to help them do and solve more difficult problems. 

  • Seeing and creating patterns is a crucial skill to prepare students to be able to code and program the computer to do things. 

  • Visit the PBS Cyberchase website where there are pattern and coding games with different levels from easy to hard. Easy is recommended for 2nd graders. There are many activities and games to choose from. 

  • There are low tech ideas (worksheets and printables) available on Pinterest on coding for 2nd graders

  • There are many printable games for secret codes and riddles also posted by teachers on the Internet. 

See the Accommodations Page and Charts on the 21things4students website in the Teacher Resources. 

Directions for this activity:

  1. The teacher will introduce simple to complex patterns to the students depending on the level of the students. For example at the beginning of the school year, simple patterns will be a better choice for the 2nd grade. 
  2. The teacher will explain that recognizing patterns will help them with their reading skills, math skills, and computer programming skills. 
  3. The teacher will have the students visit the Cyberchase site and work on one or more games to work on their patterning skills. 
  4. The teacher may have the students use some of the low tech worksheets and activities to work on solving the patterns, riddles or codes. The hope is that the students transfer their understanding of creating and solving patterns to be able to read better, solve math problems and do beginning programming. 

Different options for assessing the students:

  • Observations
  • Check for understanding
  • Accurately solving the problems and patterns the teacher has given the students. 
  • Completing the pattern computer games. 

MITECS: Michigan adopted the "ISTE Standards for Students" called MITECS (Michigan Integrated Technology Competencies for Students) in 2018.

Computational Thinker
5c. Students break problems into component parts, extract key information, and develop descriptive models to understand complex systems or facilitate problem-solving.
5d. Students understand how automation works and use algorithmic thinking to develop a sequence of steps to create and test automated solutions.

Device: PC, Chromebook, Mac, iPad 

Browser: Chrome, Safari, Firefox, Edge, ALL

Crack Hacker's Safe

Cyber Pattern Player

Dot Decoder

Pattern Quest

Pinterest Ideas for Coding for 2nd Graders

Printable Games For Secret Codes

  • Creating and solving riddles. 

  • Writing code. 

  • Create patterns in art. 

  • Create patterns in music. 

  • Solve simple story problems in math. 

  • Number patterns in addition, subtraction and multiplication. 

  • Similarities and differences in patterns can be used to sort, classify, communicate and analyze simple rates of change for natural phenomena and designed products. 

  • Look at patterns in the weather. 

This task card was created by Melissa White, 21 Things Project Manager REMC Association of Michigan, February 2018.