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What Is the Difference between a Sequence and a Pattern?

In today’s post, we are going to look at the difference between a sequence and a pattern, join us!

Like we have seen in an earlier post, a sequence is a string of organized objects following criteria, which can be:

  • Ordered (increasing or decreasing).
  • Established by a pattern.

Today we are going to concentrate on the sequences established by a pattern, defined by one or more attributes.

What is a pattern? According to Merriam-Webster, it is a form or model proposed for imitation. In the case of sequences, their patterns are models that serve to construct them.

To practice these sequences established by a pattern, Smartick has exercises where the sequence is made up of pictures.

These sequences are always defined by two attributes: shape and color. Knowing the shape pattern and the color pattern, we can create them.

We will look at some examples to understand this better.

Example of a sequence with one color and various shapes

In the following exercise, let’s see if we can identify if there is a pattern in the sequence.


In this case, the sequence is the series of pictures that decorate the body of the caterpillar:


Since all of the pictures are the color blue, the color pattern is:


and since the shapes alternate between planet, moon, planet, moon, planet, moon… the shape pattern is:Sequence

Example of a sequence with various colors and shapes

Now we are going to see an example that is a bit more complicated.


Now the sequence is this series of pictures:


Since the pictures are the colors blue, purple, green, blue, purple, green…the color pattern is: Sequence

And since the shapes appear in the order: car, car, airplane, car, car, airplane, ca, car, airplane…the shape pattern is:


Have you seen how easy it is to find patterns in a sequence? Now we are going to practice with another exercise.

Example of completing a sequence

Now we are going to identify the patterns in the following sequence to finish it.


Look closely at the colors of the pictures. They are: orange, red, purple, orange, red, purple…and continue this way. Therefore, the color pattern is:

“orange, red, purple”

Now, look at what the shapes are. They are: a basketball net, a racket, a rollerblade, a rollerblade, a basketball net, a racket, a rollerblade, a rollerblade…and continue this way. We can see that the shape pattern is:

“a basketball net, a racket, a rollerblade, a rollerblade”

Now that you have the patterns of color and shape, you can finish the sequence!

The following picture, since it comes after the color orange, will be red and after the picture of a basketball net, there will be a racket. Therefore, the next picture will be a red racket.

On to the next! Since purple comes after red and a rollerblade comes after a racket, we know that the next picture will be a purple rollerblade.

You’ve almost completed it!


Are you motivated to complete it?

You know what to do, think of the color and shape of the next picture and I’m sure you’ll get it!

I hope that these examples have helped you understand the difference between sequence and pattern well. Don’t forget to share if you liked this post!

And you know, if you want to practice more exercises, go to Smartick and try it free.

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Fun is our brain’s favorite way of learning
Diane Ackerman
Smartick is a fun way to learn math
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