Repeat pattern making

Home learning focus

Learn the basics of repeat pattern making.

This lesson includes:

  • two video clips demonstrating tessellation and screen printing

  • two activities to try at home


When thinking about shape in your designs, don't just think about the shape of the end product.

Shapes can be used decoratively for a lot of products too.

Tessellation is when shapes fit together in a pattern with no gaps or overlaps.

The following short film gives an explanation of tessellation and shows it working, or not working, with different shapes.

An introduction to tessellation and different shapes that can tessellate.

Screen printing is used for small quantity print runs for items such as posters, wallpapers and clothing.

A pattern (fixed shape) is printed onto fabric through a stencil, held in place by a screen.

In the following short film, taken from the 'Paul Martin's Handmade Revolution' series, Liz uses easy to prepare hand cut stencils, to go through the steps of basic screen printing to produce a scarf.

The craft of screen printing.


Now you can try and put some of what you have learned about repeat pattern making into action.

Activity 1

Complete the tessellation in the activity below.

Activity 2

Let's experiment with tessellation.

Using the worksheet from Twinkl, think about each shape and whether or not you think they will tesselate or fit together without gaps.

Once you have written your answer and explanation, try drawing out the shapes to test your answer and see if you are correct.

Tessellation experiment

There's more to learn

Have a look at these other resources around the BBC and the web.

More lessons for Year 1 and P2
Primary Design and Technology
BBC Teach Design and Technology