Ten in the Bed - Patterns


The unit uses the poem “Ten in the Bed” as a context for the students to begin to explore patterns in number and patterns within texts.

Achievement Objectives
NA1-1: Use a range of counting, grouping, and equal-sharing strategies with whole numbers and fractions.
NA1-5: Generalise that the next counting number gives the result of adding one object to a set and that counting the number of objects in a set tells how many.
Specific Learning Outcomes
  • Identify a number pattern.
  • Identify repeating patterns in texts.
  • Guess and check for the next number in a pattern.
  • Predict "what comes next" based on the undertsanding of the pattern in number and text.
Description of Mathematics

This unit looks at some simple number patterns. The work here is the kind that helps to provide a foundation for all future pattern work and hence for algebra proper. The key things that the students should learn are that:

  • a pattern involves a continual repetition in some way
  • the next term in a pattern can be guessed
  • that this guess should be checked

As the students go further up the levels they will see that it is possible to formally write down expressions to show how to go from one term in the pattern to the next. They will also see how to find formulae for step (ii).

Cross-curricular links (English)

Listening, Reading, and Viewing - Language Features, level 1

  • Recognise and begin to undertsand how language features are used for effect within and across texts.
Opportunities for Adaptation and Differentiation

The learning opportunities in this unit can be differentiated by providing or removing support to students and by varying the task requirements. Ways to support students include:

  • providing more opportunities to work with the sequence of numbers to five before working with numbers to ten, for example, investigating five in the bed, five in the bus and five in the waka before looking at the sequence to 10.
  • Provide more opportunities to work with patterns of two before moving onto patterns with other numbers.

The contexts for this unit can be adapted to suit the experiences of your students.  For example, instead of 10 people in the bed it could be 10 people on the bus, 10 people sleeping at the marae, or 10 chickens in the backyard. 

Required Resource Materials
  • "Ten in the Bed" by Penny Dale, Walker Books or a copy of the poem
  • Chart paper and pen
  • Counters, cubes, pencil and paper

Session 1

Here we share a story and construct a pattern grid from the story.

  1. Share the story “Ten in the Bed”.
  2. With the help of the class, rewrite the poem so that the initial character is calling others to bed. There was one in the bed and the little one said,
    “Come to bed, come to bed.”
    There were two in the bed and the little one said
    “Come to bed, come to bed.”
  3. As the poem is compiled, record what is happening in pictorial form and also record the total number of children in bed each time on the pattern grid (see one completed under step 8 below). For example:
  4. Encourage the students to predict the next number each time.
    What is happening?
    Who can see a pattern in the pictures?
    What is that pattern?
    Who can see a pattern in the numbers?
    What is that pattern?
  5. As a class, continue to construct the grid up to five in the bed. As you record the poem encourgae students to predict and repeat the parts of the text that form the pattern. These can be highlighted in a particular colour for emphasis. What is the same about the next page? What words will need to change?
  6. How many will be in the bed next?
    Students make predictions and are then asked to go and check their answers using paper and pencil or objects.
  7. Students continue until there are 10 children in the bed.
  8. Volunteers share their solutions.
    What did you do to find the answer?
    Did someone do it another way?
  9. The chart and book are compiled up to ten and both are displayed for the students to explore further. (See pattern grid below.)
    Number of jumps into bed 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
    Number of children 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10

Session 2

Here we focus on the number of eyes in the bed to build up a pattern that goes up two at a time.

  1. Share the poem and the chart compiled in the previous session. Focus on the pattern and how the students knew what was coming next.
  2. If there was one (tahi, tasi) person in the bed how many eyes would we see?
  3. Select students to act out the problem.
  4. If there were two (rua, lua) people, how many eyes would there be?
    What did you do to work it out?
    Record the number of eyes the same way as in the previous session.
  5. Continue the story up to four people in bed. Record what has happened on the chart.
  6. What is happening on our chart?
    Look at the picture of the eyes. What is happening each time?
    Look at the numbers. What is happening here each time?
  7. The students are asked to continue the pattern to find out how many eyes there would be in the bed if there were ten in the bed. They are able to use pencil and paper, counters, cubes.
  8. Students come back to whole class setting to share their solutions.
    What did you do? Why did you do that? Did some one do it another way?
  9. The class jointly completes the chart. (See below.)
    diagram of chart
    Number of jumps into bed 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
    Number of eyes 2 4 6 8 10 12 14 16 18 20

Session 3

Here we explore a pattern that increases by five and record it on a pattern grid.

  1. Reread the new version of “Ten in the Bed.”
  2. Tell the class that each evening their mother comes in to give the children a goodnight kiss. She gives each child five kisses. Record this information for one child on a chart using pictures and number.
    diagram of chart
    Number of children kissed 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
    Number of kisses 5                  

    How many kisses would mum give if there were two in the bed?
    How could we find out?
    Record the answer on the chart.

  3. Repeat for three in the bed.
    How many kisses will mum give now?
  4. Examine the chart.
    Can anyone see a pattern in the picture?
    Is there a pattern in the numbers?

    Can we use this pattern to work out how many kisses mum will need to give if there are five in the bed? Seven in the bed?
  5. Students solve the problems then return to a whole class setting.
  6. What answers did you find?
    What did you do to find the answer?

    Why did you do this?
    Could we do it another way?
    How did you use the pattern to help you find the answer?”
  7. The class jointly completes the chart first using the solutions the students already have and second by predicting and then confirming using the pattern that they have seen.

Session 4

The students explore patterns of ten using toes as a focus.

  1. Read through previous days’ chart drawing attention to the picture and number pattern.
  2. Today we are going to find out how many toes there might be in the bed.  If there was one child in the bed we know there would be ten toes.
    Does any one know how many toes there would be if there were two children in the bed?
    How did you work that out?
  3. Using equipment or pencil and paper the students explore patterns of ten until they are able to say how many toes there would be with up to ten children in the bed.
  4. Students share their thinking and solutions with the class.

Session 5

The students design questions around “Ten in the Bed” for their class to solve.

  1. We have been exploring patterns from our poem.
    We have looked at patterns of eyes, kisses and toes.
    Today you are going to make up your own questions about our story for the class to solve.
    (You may need to discuss this with them before they start on their own.)
  2. Students write problems that involve exploring patterns in the poem.
  3. Students swap problems and solve each others problems.
  4. Students share their problems and solutions with the class.
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Level One