Paint a Pattern

Empowered Learner


Students will use Paint, a Microsoft Windows Desktop app, to practice mouse skills, paint shapes, fill shapes using paint bucket as well as identify and create a pattern.

Students will:

  • Be able to create circles and lines using the shapes tool.
  • Be able to change paint colors.
  • Be able to fill shapes using the paint bucket tool.
  • Be able to use the “undo” arrow to correct mistakes.
  • Be able to identify and create a pattern.

Vocabulary Words:

  1. Pattern: A pattern is something that repeats.

  2. Undo: Undo is when you take back your last action.

To prepare for this lesson:

  • A computer with a working mouse and the Paint Program should be installed on each computer.  
    • Windows 10 instructions
    • Windows 7 Instructions
      • Open the Start Menu, and click on All Programs, double-click on Accessories, and double click on Paint. 
  • The teacher may want to practice painting a caterpillar in Paint on their own for teaching reference.
  • Teachers may pair up students at first, then have students try on their own computer.

Prior Knowledge: Students should have had some exposure to identify patterns.

Note: If you are a Mac School, the students can use ABYCA Paint

See Accommodations Page and Charts on the site in the Teacher Resources. 

Directions for this activity:

The teacher will say or do the following with the students:

  1. "I’m going to paint a picture and I would like you to try and guess what it is."
  2. Use the shapes tool to select a circle shape. Create several circles (6-8) that barely touch as they would on a caterpillar.
  3. Make a mistake (draw circle way too big or small) and show how to use the “undo” tool. Discuss how the arrow points backward. “Oops! I didn’t mean to do that. I want to go back to what my picture looked like before. Let's undo that mistake.”
  4. Make a few “mistakes” throughout your demonstration, ask students how you can fix it in one click.
  5. Explain that when the dotted lines are around the circle you can move it where you want it to stay. Once you click off the circle, it's glued there and its stuck.
  6. Select a color (#1-yellow) from the paint palette, then choose the paint bucket tool. Explain that wherever the paint coming out of the bucket is pointed at that is where the paint will spill out and cover the entire shapes its pointed on. The tip of the paint is the powerful part!
  7. You may “mistakenly” color the background of your picture, then use the undo arrow here.
  8. Use the paint bucket and color the first circle with color  #1( yellow). Make the pattern as easy or as difficult as you want. Going back and changing the color each time. Again, make a mistake or two and remind students how to use the “undo” tool.

  9. You can have students create exactly what you have and ask them to finish the pattern.

  10. Challenge students to draw lines for antennae, add tiny black circles for eyes.

  11. As an extra challenge have students create a pattern of their own.

Different options for assessing the students:

  • Observations
  • Check for understanding
  • Teachers can view student work to see the mastery of:
    • shape creation
    • shape fill
    • pattern completion

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

Empowered Learner 
1c. Students use technology to seek feedback that informs and improves their practice and to demonstrate their learning in a variety of ways.

Device: PC

Browser: Chrome, Safari, Firefox, Edge, ALL

Microsoft Paint for Windows 10



Students can use their drawing to illustrate a story on caterpillars. 

Use the Paint Program to teach students about color, drawing and patterns in art, 

The students can use the drawings of their caterpillars to show the lifecycle of a butterfly. 

This task card was created by Kimberly Peltier, Dollar Bay-Tamarack City Area Schools, October 2018.