Sorting Material

Curriculum – Data Management and Probability

For students to sort, classify, and display a variety of concrete objects, collect data, begin to read and describe displays of data, and begin to explore the concept of probability in everyday contexts.


Students and the teacher begin by sitting on the floor in a circle.


  • 5 different sets of materials (ie. animal figurines of different colours, sizes, shapes, buttons, etc.)


  • Tell students that you will be giving them one type of material and that they are to sort that material by one characteristic in whichever way they choose.


  • Have children work with the person beside them to sort the material.
  • As children are sorting the material, go around to each pair and ask how they sorted the material.
  • Give students the language by saying “you sorted by colour or shape or size or kind”
  • Ask students how many groups they made.
  • Then take away one of their groups and ask students to re-sort their material using a different characteristic.


  • When students have finished sorting ask them to explain to the group what characteristic they sorted by.
Based on JICS Kindergarten Teacher Carol Stephenson’s Mathematics Lesson