students remain in their seats, ask them to identify things within the
classroom that can be sorted and to name specific attributes to guide
the sorting. Some examples students might suggest are the following:
- Things to sort by color: crayons, markers, papers, hair color, eye color, backpacks, and clothes
- Things to sort by shape: tables, books, blocks
- Things to sort by size: books, students, pencils, and shoes.
Record and post this information on a chart for future reference. The format provided on the Objects to Sort Recording Sheet will familiarize students with the recording format.
Give small groups of students bowls of crayons or pencils. Have students sort the crayons however they wish (be vague on purpose, so that the groups' results will vary). While students are doing this, circulate the room and make note of all the different ways groups are sorting.
After students have finished sorting, display one group's sorting results. Ask the class if they can guess how this group sorted their objects. Have students defend their answers.
Objects to Sort Recording Sheet
Distribute the Objects to Sort Recording Sheet (one copy per group). Invite students to complete the sheet by using more specific sorting rules. Students will have to sort the crayons by such the following categories:
- Color (they can mark the crayon onto the paper)
- Size (students may use length, width, or both)
- Type (ex: crayons with and without wrapping)
- Shape (ex: crayons with tips vs. those that resemble cylindrical cylinders)
Note that students may interpret the categories differently, which is acceptable. This will be a good opportunity to engage students in math talk.
Depending on the time available for class, use the Questions for Students to wrap up the lesson, or move onto the next lesson, Alike and Different.