While perusing Mathwire, a photo under Investigating Growing Patterns inspired me to try a lesson with snap cubes. (Ironically, I'd just put them in my growing garage sale pile. They were rescued!)
I built the first two arrangements in a growing pattern:
Then, I asked my son to build the third arrangement. (Next two photos show examples of patterns in which I built the first two arrangements and he added the third.)
After building the third arrangement, he drew the 1st-5th arrangements on 1cm grid paper.
I asked him to describe what the 10th arrangement would look like. For example, he looked at the yellow/pink set above and said, "Ten pink ones up, eleven yellow ones on each side and one on top."
Next task? He'll build the first two arrangements with snap cubes in a pattern that he invents and record the answers for arrangements 1-5 on grid paper. I'll build the third arrangement with snap cubes and he can "be the teacher" and check to see if I'm correct.
Stop by tomorrow for some literature ideas to go with this lesson! :)