MY BIRTHDAY NUMBER – Texture, Pattern, Contrast

Students use aluminum foil tape, markers and coloured pencils to create a number design filled with patterns and information about their birthday number.

Required Time

80 Minutes

Grade Level

Grade 4 to Grade 8


Language Arts
Visual Arts


colour contrast pattern texture


Crayola Coloured Pencils Crayola Marker & Watercolour Paper Crayola Sketchbooks - 1 per student Crayola Broad Line Markers Crayola Acrylic Paint Crayola Paint Brushes Aluminum Foil Tape Paper Towels

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MY BIRTHDAY NUMBER – Texture, Pattern, Contrast - Step One

Step One

  1. Follow the steps in the Exploring Aluminum Tape lesson plan available on this website to experiment with different ways to make marks on the aluminum foil tape.
MY BIRTHDAY NUMBER – Texture, Pattern, Contrast - Step Two

Step Two

  1. Tape some aluminum foil to the paper.
  2. Do not cover the whole paper.
  3. Use a dull pencil to draw your birthday number into the foil.
  4. Draw lines to divide up the space around the number.
  5. Create patterns in the spaces.
MY BIRTHDAY NUMBER – Texture, Pattern, Contrast - Step Three

Step Three

  1. Extend the lines of your foil design onto the paper.
  2. Fill each space with colour and patterns.
  3. Include expressions and facts about your number.

Learning Goals

Students will be able to:

  • create a number design filled with patterns and information about their birthday number;
  • create texture on foil tape;
  • create colour effects on foil tape;
  • demonstrate technical accomplishment and creativity;
  • support their ideas with evidence found in the works. 


Have students:

  • use cardboard to build a 3-dimensional number sculpture that displays a variety of information about the number in a playful way;
  • work with others to arrange the sculptures in a way that tells a story;
  • use a device to photograph the arrangement;
  • use the photos to create a digital story about "Number Land".


  1. Prior to this lesson have students experiment with aluminum foil using the Exploring Aluminum Foil lesson plan available on this website.
  2. Download and display the Texture, Contrast and Repetition posters available on this website.
  3. Teach or review concepts about texture, contrast and pattern.
    - texture - the way a surface feels, or looks as if it feels
    - contrast - placing elements that are related, but different beside each other
    - pattern - motifs repeated in a predictable way


  1. Review how to make marks in the foil using a dull pencil and/or a wooden candy apple stick.
  2. View the Texture poster and discuss the difference between real and simulated textures.
  3. View the Contrast poster and discuss how to create contrast using colour, pattern and different elements.
  4. View the Repetition poster and discuss how to make a pattern.
  5. Have students share some of the interesting facts and expressions they learned about their birthday number.
  6. Introduce the challenge.


The Challenge

  1. Create a number design filled with patterns and information about your birthday number.
  2. Create texture on foil tape.
  3. Create colour effects on foil tape.
  4. Demonstrate technical accomplishment and creativity.
  5. Support your ideas with evidence found in the works. 

The Process

  1. Ensure that everyone understands the challenge.
  2. Establish success criteria with your students, for example,
    I know I am successful when I have:
    - created a variety of textures
    created a variety of patterns
    - created a variety of colour effects
    - created contrast among the elements
    - created a composition that moves the eye through the design
    - included facts and expressions about my number
    - kept the paper in good condition
  3. Guide students through the steps outlined in this lesson plan.
  4. Observe students as they work.
  5. Encourage them to share and expand on each other's ideas as they explore the materials.  
  6. Provide individual assistance and encouragement.


  1. Place students into small groups. 
  2. Ask them to: 
    - compare their work and describe how they are similar, and how they are different;
    - talk about the interesting things they learned about their numbers;
    - talk about what was difficult and what was easy for them.
  3. Share ideas with the whole class. 
  4. Ask them to tell how they felt about doing this project.


  1. Observe students as they work – thoughtful focus, discriminating, seeking more information, elaborating, experimenting.
  2. Observe students as they discuss the drawings – active listening, insightful contributions, supporting ideas with evidence found in the artwork and from personal experience.
  3. Use a checklist to track progress. (Downloads - MyNumber_tracking.pdf)
  4. Have students use the self-assessment form to evaluate their work. (Downloads - MyNumber_self-assessment.pdf)