EL Support Lesson

Where Does it Fit?

Help your students learn how to sort and categorize everyday objects in this fun partner focused lesson plan!
This lesson can be used as a pre-lesson for theSorting Fun!Lesson plan.
GradeSubjectView aligned standards
This lesson can be used as a pre-lesson for theSorting Fun!Lesson plan.

Students will be able to sort objects and determine the sorting rule.


Students will be able to explain how to sort objects.

(2 minutes)
On the Button: Grouping and SortingTeach Background Knowledge TemplateWrite Student-Facing Language Objectives ReferenceVocabulary Cards: Where Does it Fit?Glossary:  Where Does it Fit?
  • Gather the class together for the lesson.
  • Display several items (e.g., banana, apple, car, truck, etc.) and ask, "Which of these things belong together?"
  • Allow for a few minutes of think time, then ask for students to turn and talk to a partner to share ideas.
  • Say, "Today we are going to learn how to sort things into groups."
(3 minutes)
  • Ask the class to raise their hand if they have brothers or sisters. Then have the kids who raised a hand move to one side of the room. Tell the students who did not raise their hand to move to the other side of the room. Say, "I just made two groups using the CategoryOr way to sort, siblings or no siblings."
  • Have students return to their seats and say, "Today we are going to learn how to SortOr group things together into categories by what those things have in common with each other."
(10 minutes)
  • Place the collected items (e.g., play food, toys, writing utensils, etc.) in front of the class and say, "Sorting helps us see how how things are different or the same. It can also help us find things we are looking for, like fruit in a grocery store."
  • Explain that now the class will help sort the items you have collected.
  • Ask students to turn and talk to share with a partner some of their ideas for categories to sort the objects (e.g., foods, school supplies, etc.).
  • Have a few pairs share their ideas aloud and place the items into the proposed groups. Ask each pair to share why they chose their cateogy.
  • Ask the rest of the group, "Did anyone come up with a different category or way to sort the items?"
(10 minutes)
  • Explain that now students will be working in pairs to sort a bag of items. They should sort the items into at least two groups.
  • Pass out a bag of items to each pair and tell students to discuss with their partner how they think the items should be grouped.
  • Circulate around the room and ask pairs to explain their groups to you.


  • Work in small teacher-led group to provide targeted support.
  • Allow students to share ideas and categories in their home language (L1).
  • Provide items to sort with clearer or less confusing categories (focusing on attributes such as: colour, size, shape, etc).


  • Have students sort items independently. Then pair with a partner to explain their groups and justify their categories.
(5 minutes)
  • Circulate around the classroom as students are working to assess students ability to sort and classify items into groups.
  • Ask guiding questions to further assess understanding. For example, "What are some ways you can classify objects? Why is this item in this category? How many items are in each category? How do you know? Are there any items that could go in a different category? Why/why not?"
(5 minutes)
  • Gather the class together and display several items of different colors/sizes/shapes. Ask the students to look at the items and think of two categories to sort them into.
  • Ask the students to turn and talk to share their ideas.
  • Share out some ideas and model how to place the items in appropriate categories (e.g., colour or size).
  • Review the idea that items might fit into multiple categories, you must be able to justify or explain how they fit together.

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