NUMBERS IN GRIDS – Pattern, Colour, Multiples

Students use markers and coloured pencils to explore how multiples of two different numbers make patterns on a number grid.

Required Time

40 Minutes

Grade Level

Grade 3 to Grade 6


Language Arts
Visual Arts


colour common multiple contrast integer multiple pattern


Crayola Coloured Pencils Crayola Fine Line Markers

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NUMBERS IN GRIDS –  Pattern, Colour, Multiples - Step One

Step One

  1. Work with 2 sets of multiples, for example multiples of 3 and 4.
  2. Mark the squares that have common multiples, for example, common multiples of 3 and 4 are:
    12, 24, 36, 48, 60, 72, 84 and 96 
  3. Choose a colour for the common multiples squares and fill them in.
  4. Choose a different colour for each set of multiples, e.g.,
    - multiples of 3 colour brown
    - multiples of 4 colour blue
    - common multiples colour yellow
NUMBERS IN GRIDS –  Pattern, Colour, Multiples - Step Two

Step Two

  1. Colour one set of multiples with marker.
  2. Colour the other set with a contrasting colour of coloured pencil.
NUMBERS IN GRIDS –  Pattern, Colour, Multiples - Step Three

Step Three

  1. Create a different pattern for each of the 3 types of squares.
    - multiples of 3
    - multiples of 4
    - common multiples 
  2. Use contrasting colours of marker to draw the pattern on top of the coloured squares.
  3. Use a coloured pencil to lightly fill in all the background squares with one new colour.

Learning Goals

Students will be able to:

  • create a design based on multiples of 2 different numbers;
  • create 3 distinct patterns;
  • use colour and pattern to create contrast;
  • demonstrate technical accomplishment and creativity;
  • explain how common multiples affect the design.


Have students:

  • arrange numbers into several different grids, for example, grids in rows of 10, 11, and 7;
  • use each of the grids to colour multiples of a number, for example, multiples of 3;
  • compare each of the patterns;
  • explain how and why the pattern is the same or different.


  1. Prior to this lesson you may want to have students explore pattern using the Patterns worksheet available on this website.
  2. Download and display the Contrast and Repetition posters available on this website.
  3. Teach or review concepts about contrast and pattern.
    - contrast - placing elements that are related, but different beside each other
    - pattern - motifs repeated in a predictable way
  4. Copy the number grid - enough for each student to have one. (Downloads - NumberGrid.pdf)
  5. Download the patterns based on multiples of different numbers, or create some on a chart paper. (Downloads - NumberPatterns.pdf)
  6. Teach or review the multiples, common multiples and integers.


  1. View the Repetition poster and discuss how to make a pattern.
  2. View the Contrast poster and discuss how to create contrast using colour and pattern.
  3. Have students identify what a multiple is and how to get them.
    - the first multiple of a number is the number itself
    - the multiple of a number is that number multiplied by an integer 
    - integers are like whole numbers but they include zero and can be positive or negative, for example, -5, -4, -3, -2, -1, 0, +1, +2, +3, etc.
    - a common multiple is a number that is a multiple of 2 or more numbers
  4. View several simple patterns and ask students to describe them. Encourage students to say,
    - "It shows the multiples of fours."
  5. Introduce the challenge.


The Challenge

  1. Create a design based on multiples of 2 different numbers;
  2. Create 3 distinct patterns.
  3. Use colour and pattern to create contrast.
  4. Demonstrate technical accomplishment and creativity.
  5. Explain how common multiples affect the design.

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 3 distinct patterns
    - created contrast with colour and pattern
    - created a design based on 2 sets of multiples
    - explained how the common multiples affect the design
    - kept the paper in good condition
  3. Guide students through the steps outlined in this lesson plan.
  4. Observe students as they work.  
  5. 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 what they learned about multiples by viewing the designs.
  3. Share ideas with the whole class. 
  4. Ask them to tell how they felt about doing this activity.


  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 - Multiples_tracking.pdf)
  4. Have students use the self-assessment form to evaluate their work. (Downloads - Multiples_self-assessment.pdf)