Elementary School Resource
For this activity, provide students with a bag of small toys—perhaps a bag of plastic farm animals or a mixture of domestic and wild animals, a bag filled with toy cars, boats, and planes, or buttons or shells or stones. Let students work with a partner or in a group to sort their pieces in an open-ended activity.
With younger children, you may want to be sure they are comfortable with simple sorting activities before they work with the animal pieces. For example, sorting materials with different shapes, colors, or sizes provides good preparation. Instruct students to sort their pieces into different groups and provide a good name for each group. Then they should share what they did with their partner. Mix up the pieces and let the partner sort the pieces into new groups. They should check each other’s work, talk about the sorting with each other, and find a way to record their groupings. Let students describe their groupings with other members of the class.
A follow-up might be to challenge the students to put their sorted groups in horizontal or vertical graphing grids.
Related NY State Academic Standards: 1.G.1, 2.G.1, MST3.1.RP.6, and more!
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