# Pine Tree Number Patterns

### 4th Grade Activity - Teacher Directions

##### Background

The needles of the loblolly pines found in the Pineywoods always grow in bunches of threes. Other types of pines have needles that grow in bunches of two, five, or more. Is there a pattern to the numbers found in nature? An Italian mathematician named Leonardo Fibonacci noticed these numbers in nature in the 1200s while trying to mathematically predict the number of offspring starting from one pair of rabbits. The sequence of numbers that emerged are numbers or patterns of numbers often found in nature. Looking for patterns is fun math activity. Students try to recognize the pattern in the sequence and complete the following the following number patterns.

##### Skills:

Mathematics: Number patterns, Addition of two and three digit numbers

Paper
Pencil

##### Procedure
1. Post the following number sequences on a chalkboard or overhead.
2, 3, 5, ___, 13, 21, ___               8 and 34
1, 1, 2, 3, ___, 8, 13, 21, 34, ___ 5 and 55
55, 89, 144, ___, 377, 610, ___ 233 and 987
2. Have students use paper and pencil to determine the missing numbers from the sequences. (Hint: The pattern is the same for all lines of numbers. The Fibonacci numerical pattern is computed by adding the previous 2 numbers in the sequence to get the next number.)

For example:

0 + 1 = 1,

1 + 1 = 2,

1 + 2 = 3,

2 + 3 = 5,

3 + 5 = 8,

5 + 8 = 13

The Fibonacci Numerical sequence follows: 0, 1, 1, 2, 3, 5, 8, 13, 21, 34, 55, 89, . . .  and continues to infinity.