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Students will spend several days observing differences, grouping differences, and noticing different attributes of similar items.
Kindergarten students are just beginning to notice the patterns and organizations of things around them. In this lesson, and the activities in Additional Practice, students will spend several days observing differences, grouping differences, and noticing different attributes of similar items.
This lesson introduces grouping attributes of more than two items, with a brief introduction involving grouping two objects. Students may need to have more experience grouping two attributes before being introduced to this concept.
This lesson and activities are specifically written to allow free exploration of items, and then introduce students to grouping methods according to attributes. It would be contradictory to always tell the students how to sort. A large part of mastery is their ability to notice the attributes independently.
Invitation to Learn:
Launch (Introduction): (20 minutes)
Students will be seated on the carpet. Have two large circles made of black yarn. Instruct the students that you are going to put some of the things you have into the circle, and they need to explain what your rule is.
Read the book 3 Little Firefighters by Stuart J. Murphy. As you read, stop and discuss the attributes of each of the ways the firefighters are sorting the buttons. After reading the book, discuss how the firefighters sorted their buttons (color, shape, and size).
Explore (Individual and Small Group work): (10 minutes)
Discuss (Whole Group discussion): (5 minutes)
Solidify (Closure): (5 minutes)
Practice (Review): (5 minutes)
Additional Lesson Activities:
Sorting Buttons in Different Ways:
Model making a large circle with black yarn. Each group can take up to four pieces of yarn and make a circle at their table with each piece of yarn. Students can then sort buttons into the various circles and identify to the teacher and each other their reasoning and justification.
This is a perfect time for language integration. Sort letters into similar attributes. You can do the following letter sorts: Consonants/vowels, uppercase/lowercase, straight lines/slanted lines, tails/no tails, tunnels/no tunnels, dots/no dots, tall/short, long stick/short stick, circle/no circle.
Game: "What's the Same?"
Make copies of each of the sock pages on red, green, yellow and blue cardstock. Cut into cards. Note: you can make several sets so each table can have its own attribute set. Lay out any 12 sock cards on the ground (make sure you have a variety of colors). The students are gathered around in a circle. Say, "Find one thing that is the same." Students will look at the cards, and identify one attribute that is the same on two cards. When they find the attribute, they slap their hands on the carpet and say, "Same!" After all students have found a set with similar attributes, students will be allowed to explain to the class what they found. You can continue this game for several days, adding to the number of attributes (two, three, etc.) they should find between the cards. After the students understand the rules independently, this is a good, fast finisher and center game.
Students should sort socks (pdf) into different categories as designated by their chosen attribute. They may choose dots, stripes, zigzags, color, etc. The students should be able to identify what common attribute they used to link the socks together. For independent practice, you could hang a string with small clothespins on it. Students could hang the socks onto the clothesline by their chosen attribute.
Students will sort the household items according to what room they belong in. (Note that some students will put things in different rooms than others because of how their own household sorts them.) Make connections with students about how a grocery and department store is organized.
Sorting Common Classmate Attributes:
Students will sit at the carpet with their unifix cubes in hand. Call one student up, identify whether that student has a pull-on shirt, a shirt with buttons, or neither one of those attributes. Identify what each area represents (the white area is for pull-on shirts, the red area is for button shirts, and the blue area is for "other" types of clothes). As each student stands, the other students will identify by showing the correct color of unifix cube where that student should go. (You may need to keep reminding them which category the different colors represent.) Quickly regroup the students in this manner until your class is sorted. You can do this with different attributes such as hair color, hair length, types of shoes, and elastic waistbands or zippers.
Beastly Bug Attribute Game
Write each of the following attribute headings on a separate index card: one eye, two eyes, three eyes, one leg, two legs, three legs, one tooth, two teeth, three teeth, one lock of hair, two locks of hair, three locks of hair, one leg, two legs, three legs, red, blue, yellow, green.
For each bug page (pdf), make a red, blue, yellow, and green copy on cardstock and cut the bugs into separate cards.
Before you play the Game:
Have students sort the bugs informally at their tables by color and attribute. They may make circles with black yarn to help organize their sorts. Different attributes included are a combination of any of the following: Bugs with one eye, two eyes, or three eyes. Bugs with one leg, two legs, or three legs. Bugs with one tooth, two teeth, three teeth. Bugs with one lock of hair, two locks of hair, or three locks of hair.
Whole Class Connection: Find the Beastly Bug
This activity is done best at the carpet, where you can easily check students' cards and their peers can also check each other's cards. Pass out bugs to each student (all bugs must be passed out). Have students carefully look at the cards. (Most students will at least have two cards; accelerated learners may have three.
Put your attribute index card headings in piles according to eyes, legs, teeth, hair, and color.
To find the Beastly Bug:
Assignments to do with parents