Sort It Out

A. Wills
Multiple Subject Teacher

Students will learn to categorize in various ways.

Grade Level: K - 1st

Subject: Math

Length of Time: 20 - 30 Minutes

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Common Core Alignment

CCSS.MATH.CONTENT.K.G.B.4 - Analyze and compare two- and three-dimensional shapes, in different sizes and orientations, using informal language to describe their similarities, differences, parts (e.g., number of sides and vertices/"corners") and other attributes (e.g., having sides of equal length).

Objectives & Outcomes

Students will be able to create and appropriately sort items into at least three different category sets with 80 percent accuracy.

Materials Needed

  • sortable objects such as wooden shapes, plastic toys, colored marbles, etc.


Opening to Lesson

  • Have students gather in the front of the room.
  • Have boys stand on one side and girls stand on the other.
  • Ask students what you have just done. (You have sorted, grouped, or categorized) Ask students if there are other ways to sort the class (and take their suggestions).
  • *If you cannot think of ways to sort try tennis shoes/other shoes, long sleeves/short sleeves, pants/shorts/dresses, hair color, eye color*

Body of Lesson

  • Explain to students that almost anything can be sorted in several ways and that is what you are going to do today.
  • Offer students a variety of sortable objects and ask them to sort them into (color or size, depending on what objects you have chosen). Allow students time to sort all items and do a visual check of work. If students are struggling, walk them through the thought process: Is this red or blue? Big or small? Etc.
  • Now that students have sorted into the group you chose, ask if someone can think of another way the items could be sorted. Allow students to sort in this manner.


Tell students that they are so good at sorting and categorizing that you know they can come up with one more way to sort the items. Allow students to choose a category of their own (each person can be different) and sort the objects. Ask students how they are sorting.

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Assessment & Evaluation

Students will show understanding by sorting into specific categories with at least 80% accuracy.

Modification & Differentiation

Some students may benefit from simplified categories overall.

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