Reading Together

Storybook guide based on Trudy Harris’s “Pattern Bugs”

Explore math while reading and talking about this storybook.

Topic:

Activity Summary

Use this storybook guide with the book “Pattern Bug.” Many public libraries have this book.

Reading guide

About the Story

This story introduces children to different bugs, each with its own pattern. The bees buzz-buzz-buzz-sip, buzz-buzz-buzz-sip the pollen and nectar. The butterflies flutter-float-flutter-float in the sky while the cricket loudly chicka-chirp-chirps, chicka-chirp-chirps. Children can listen for the patterns and look for them hidden in the illustrations until nighttime appears and the bugs go to sleep.

Words to Learn

pattern, flutter, float, skitter, scoot, crawl, nibble, chew, chirp 

About the Math

This story is about repeating patterns. While listening and looking for the patterns on each page, children can learn that:

  • Patterns repeat in predictable ways. For example, we see the beetle skitter-scoot-crawl, skitter-scoot-crawl, which repeats over and over again.
  • We can guess what comes next in the pattern by listening to what repeats. When we hear nibble-nibble-bite-chew, nibble-nibble-bite-chew, we can guess what comes next: nibble-nibble-bite … chew!
  • There are different types of patterns, such as flutter-float-flutter-float (ABAB) and buzz-buzz-buzz-sip, buzz-buzz-buzz-sip (AAAB).
  • The color stripes on the top and bottom of each page have the same pattern as the bugs.

Math Talk During Reading

  • TALK ABOUT THE PATTERNS IN THE STORY
    What pattern did you hear on this page? What pattern did you see?
  • GUESS WHAT COMES NEXT IN THE PATTERN
    Listen to the pattern: nibble-nibble-bite-chew, nibble-nibble-bite … What comes next?
  • EXPLORE HOW SOME PATTERNS ARE DIFFERENT
    How does flutter-float, flutter-float sound different than skitter-scoot-crawl, skitter-scoot-crawl?
  • NOTICE HOW SOME PATTERNS ARE THE SAME
    What do the color stripes on the top and bottom of the page tell you about the pattern?

Try to come up with some of your own questions and comments, too!

Activity After Reading

  • CHILDREN CAN PRACTICE DRAWING THEIR OWN PATTERN BUGS
    Let’s draw our own pattern bugs using different colors and shapes! What pattern should we make?
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