Lesson plan

Sorting Fun!

Introduce your class to the concept of sorting with this interactive lesson that encourages participation from your whole class!
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Need extra help for EL students? Try the Where Does it Fit?Pre-lesson.
GradeSubjectView aligned standards
Need extra help for EL students? Try the Where Does it Fit?Pre-lesson.

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

The adjustment to the whole group lesson is a modification to differentiate for children who are English learners.
EL adjustments
(5 minutes)
Animal Jumble
  • Introduce your class to the lesson by telling them that today they will begin to explore sorting.
  • Define SortingAs the action of grouping like objects together.
  • Tell your class that they are going to help you with the lesson.
(15 minutes)
  • Call up several students who have something similar about them such as clothing, hair colour, or shoes.
  • Ask your students to guess what is similar about the students. Give them some clues by drawing their attention to the students' similar qualities.
  • Explain what your sorting rule for this group was.
  • Repeat this process again with another group of students and a new rule.
(10 minutes)
  • Give each student a small group of blocks.
  • Tell your students that they are now going to sort their blocks and that they should be able to tell you what their sorting rule is.
  • If a student has difficulty, point out the similarities and the differences with the blocks.
(10 minutes)
  • After students have had time to practise their sorting, introduce Animal Jumble.
  • Review the instructions, pass out the pencils, and have the students work independently.


  • Have students work with a classmate. Limit the choices for sorting to just a few, such as colour or size.


  • Have your students who have completed their work early or need a challenge work on a computer game such as Cocoa colour Sorting (see related media).
(10 minutes)
  • Assess informally while watching students sort blocks. Make note of those students that cannot explain how they sorted their blocks.
  • Assess the worksheets when completed. Look for areas where sorting is not consistent.
(10 minutes)
  • Gather the students together. Ask them what sorting means.
  • Let students explain how they sorted their blocks.
  • Let one student gather several students together who have something similar and have their classmates guess the rule of sorting.

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