'Pasifika Patterns' is focused on the development of students' understanding of rotational and line symmetry. It also introduces students to aspects of Pasifika culture, in particular patterns and greetings from the islands of Samoa, Tonga, Niue, Tokelau, and the Cook Islands.

Two dimensional figures can have two distinct types of symmetry: reflection symmetry and rotation symmetry. A figure has rotation symmetry if there is a point around which the figure can be rotated (less than a full turn) so that the image matches the original figure perfectly. The order of symmetry of a shape is the number of times a shape can be fitted back onto its own outline during a complete turn.

For example a rectangle has rotational symmetry of order 2, as it maps onto itself at 180 and 360 degrees. Reflection symmetry, occurs when two halves of a figure mirror each other across a line. The line of symmetry is the line that divides the figure into two mirror images. A simple test to determine if a figure has line symmetry is to fold the figure along the supposed line of symmetry and see if the two halves of the figure coincide.