Sorting Children

Early Years (Age 3 – 6)

Curriculum Goal

Kindergarten: Demonstrating Literacy and Mathematics Behaviour

  • Collect, organize, display, and interpret data to solve problems and to communicate information, and explore the concept of probability in everyday contexts (#19).


  • Students begin by standing in the middle of the carpet. The teacher stands facing them.


  • No materials needed.


  • Explain to students that you will be dividing them into two groups, based on 1 characteristic that is the same in each group.
  • Divide students into the groups and then ask if anyone has an idea on what that characteristic may be.
  • Have students give their ideas. As students do this, ask them to check and verify that their statement is true (e.g. if a child says everyone on this side is wearing pink, ask the whole class to check to make sure).
  • Once students have guessed what characteristic you have sorted them by, sort them again based on a different one.
  • With the help of the teacher, have students take turns sorting other students based on one characteristic.

Look Fors

  • Can children come up with sort characteristics that make sense?
  • Do children understand what it means to sort by one characteristic?
  • Can children identify what the sorting characteristic is?

Related Lessons

Organize and interpret data using two different styles of graphs.

Sort and organize Smarties based on their characteristics.

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