Lesson plan

Sorting Fun!

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