Pascal's Triangle Lesson Plan for Elementary School

Instructor: Sharon Linde
Teach your students about Pascal's triangle with help from this lesson plan. A text lesson will walk students through key ideas before they put their understanding to practice with an activity. Give a quiz at the end to check comprehension.

Learning Objectives

After this lesson, students will be able to:

  • explain Pascal's triangle and idea of recursion
  • use triangular numbers to solve problems with guidance
  • create a Pascal triangle


1 - 1.5 hours

Curriculum Standards

  • CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.5.3

Explain the relationships or interactions between two or more individuals, events, ideas, or concepts in a historical, scientific, or technical text based on specific information in the text.

  • CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.5.4

Determine the meaning of general academic and domain-specific words and phrases in a text relevant to a grade 5 topic or subject area.

  • CCSS.Math.Content.5.OA.B.3

Generate two numerical patterns using two given rules. Identify apparent relationships between corresponding terms. Form ordered pairs consisting of corresponding terms from the two patterns, and graph the ordered pairs on a coordinate plane.


  • Copies of the lesson Pascal's Triangle Lesson for Kids: Definition & History, one for each student
  • Copies of Pascal's triangle for display
  • Template of Pascal's six-row triangle, one for each student
  • A partially-filled Pascal's triangle of at least 10 rows, one for each partner-pair

Key Vocabulary

  • Recursion
  • Symmetrical
  • Triangular numbers

Warm-Up and Preparation

  • Display a copy of Pascal's triangle and give students a few minutes to look at it.
  • Now break students into small groups and ask them to share what they noticed. Do they see any patterns?
  • Tell students they will be learning about this triangle and preview vocabulary.

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