What patterns do you see in your environment?



Red trays: LINE

Patterns can be found everywhere in the environment. Going out into familiar places and discovering patterns was an eye-opening experience and something that educators should try with children.

This pattern was found by zooming in on a stack of red food trays in a classroom at Ryerson. The element of LINE is characterizes this pattern. Lines define shapes, represent movement and can be curved, straight, spiky, short, long, thin or wide. The straight edges of stacked red trays create multiple uniform lines which creates a pattern.

This experience can be used for future teaching purposes. As educators, take the opportunity to look for patterns in the environment with children so that they can learn about art through meaningful and relevant experiences. Additionally, using different art mediums such as digital photography can be introduced to children to broaden their ideas about what art is. Art is not only a drawings, but photography, installations, sculptures and more. If accessible, educators can use ipads, iphones or a regular digital camera to do this activity in class.



Ryerson Student Learning Centre Ceiling: LINE

The Ryerson Student Learning Centre (SLC) is a known for its unique modern design. This particular image was taken inside the SLC entrance and the blue geometric pattern is found throughout the ceiling of the building.

This pattern consists of clean cut lines and a repetition of triangular shapes.  A defined element of art that is prominent in this pattern is LINE. Lines are any marks created on a surface which can be seen in drawings and in real life objects. The geometric, triangular shapes that create a pattern are made up of lines. These shapes are outlined by bold, black lines.

Through this experience, I was able to appreciate the art in my surroundings through photography and capture patterns that I had not seen before by zooming in and taking pictures from different perspectives. For instance, to take this picture of the ceiling I had to lie down on the floor. 

TIP: encourage children to zoom in and use different angles to find patterns!



Art Gallery of Ontario: LINE

The AGO is a great place to make artistic discoveries not just from the displayed art pieces, but also from the structure of the building. The AGO is an art creation in itself!

Similar to Hana and Joanna’s experience, it was interesting to find various patterns throughout the art gallery and capture them through photographs. Children can become photographers as they learn about what is aesthetically pleasing while discovering, analyzing and capturing their surroundings in a photo. 

An art element that is clearly displayed in this photo is lines. Lines create edges, outlines, and directions for all things such as artwork, nature, and architecture. The wooden beams placed in various directions (horizontal & vertical, curved and diagonal) create lines and patterns of squares and rectangles of different sizes.


Other Patterns in our environment!

A Teacher’s Toolbox! – Here are some resources that you can take inspiration. You can adapt them according to your use.

Website on introducing children to digital photography

An additional activity you can do with children regarding photography

For more inspiration: 11 photography activities for children


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