Aboriginal Perspectives



Jessica Wesaquate

Subject Area:



Patterns and Relations (Patterns)

Grade Level:



Main Objective:

Students will use patterns to describe the world and to solve problems.

General Outcome:

Identify, create, describe and translate numerical and non-numerical patterns arising from daily experiences in the school and on the playground.

Specific Outcomes:

Create, extend and describe patterns including numerical and non-numerical patterns.


Activity One:
Birch bark biting samples, the Métis sash, paper, pencils, fine-tipped markers or pencils

Activity Two:
10 by 10 grid, pencils, pencil crayons

Activity Three:
Transparencies & paper copies of birch bark biting samples, dry-erase markers, paper, and pencils

Activity/lesson Ideas:

  1. Give students some time to explore the birch bark biting samples. Using a fine-tipped marker or pen, have students circle the areas where they see patterns.

    Let students look at pictures or a real example of the Métis sash. Have them orally share what they can observe about the patterns. This is a great opportunity to make some cross-curricular connections to Social Studies. The year 2010 is the Year of the Métis.

    Using the birch bark biting samples and Métis sash as examples, have students create their own patterns. Once their pattern has been created, give students some time to describe their pattern in writing.

    Pair activity: have students swap their descriptions with a peer. Can the students re-create the pattern using strictly the description? Once the patterns have been re-created talk about the clarity of each other’s description.

  2. Andy printed the letters of his reserveover and over in the squares of a 10 by 10 grid. Then he colored the last letter of his reserve. His reserve is called “Piapot.” Have students do this on blank 10 by 10 grid paper.

    • Describe any patterns you see. Andy said his work is like a skip-counting pattern. What skip-counting pattern do you see in his work?
    • Choose one of the following names of reserves found in Saskatchewan. Write it over and over in the squares of a 10 by 10 grid and predict the patterns you will see. Have students check predictions.

      • Pasqua
      • Cote
      • Keys
      • Pinehouse

    Students can take some time to look on the Internet and research a little about these reserves, where they are located and some background history.

  3. Using transparencies of birch bark biting samples; let students use dry-erase markers to transfer the image.

    On printed out versions of birch bark biting samples, you can have students glue small beads to externally present the patterns. This can lead into a discussion about the Métis and their identity as the ‘Flower Beadwork People.’

    Have students look at a picture of a birch bark biting and create a pictorial representation of it.