Learning Patterns with Easy Tessellation Elephants

Learning Patterns with Easy Tessellation Elephant

Teach your preschooler about patterns using the books Elmer the Patchwork Elephant. Talk about color, shapes and repetition while you create your own Elmer the Elephant using the  tessellation of squares.

What is a tessellation? A tessellation is a continuous pattern or tiling of one shape to the next.

Classified: Hard- and will be easier if you work in small groups of 4 year old children or older. My little girl was 3 and she needed a lot of help gluing in the squares. However, she did understand how to arrange them in a pattern.

What you need:
Elephant Graph
  • Elephant Printable- I made this on the computer after the lesson, figuring it might be easier to have an elephant with a graph already on it available!
  • Various hues of construction paper
  • Glue
  • Crayons

What to do:

Prep- cut various shades of construction paper into 3x3" squares.

1. Read Any Elmer the Elephant Book to your preschooler or class. Great stories that will provide children with a sense pf belonging as well as learning to accept others. Discuss Elmer's Pattern-  Elmer's Special Day (Elmer Books) shows lots of patterns and colors of the animals involved with the story! Aside from being a walking, talking tessellation, Elmer is a poor example of a pattern with colors- we tried. But there are a lot of other great patterns that your students can look for in the book, Elmer's Special Day (Elmer Books).

2. Print out the Elephant Graph Printable and cut out.

3. Discuss patterns with your 4 year old. Have them select 2-3 color squares and demonstrate how to make a pattern with them. Optional: decorate with markers. If you are working with an older child, you may want them to make a pattern within the squares as well.

4. Demonstrate how to glue the colored square directly into a box in the graph. Have them place each color square according to their pattern. Once correct, glue into place.

Flip over and trim of access

Add details

5. Trim of excess squares and draw on a face.


  1. Super cute activity & I LOVE that it was based on a book! My favorites! Thanks for linking up to TGIF Linky Party!
    Beth =-)

  2. Just saw this on TGIF Party - so cute! We were looking for an elephant project for next week - this is perfect!!

  3. love this book! stopping by from the lovely poppy- i'd love for you to visit and check out the huge ($100) giveaway ending soon! http://thelovelypoppy.blogspot.com/2011/10/blog-follower-giveaway.html

  4. Stopping by from the blog hop. I'm your newest follower.

  5. What a cute book & activity! How fun to find your blog, hopping over from TGIF LInky Party =-)


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