- Develop a further understanding of key science concepts as students classify and compare objects on graphic organiser mats
- Engaging sorting cards cover eight major themes (weather & water, simple machines, plants, animals, Earth & space, motion, energy, and technology & tools) with real-life photos on one side and the word on the reverse
- Includes 200 5cm sorting cards, five 42cm L x 27cm H wipe-clean mats featuring a 3-column chart and Venn diagram, and Activity Guide
• Always narrow down the photo card pool using the card list located on the back of the guide. This will provide students with a manageable number of photos to work with based upon the sorting criteria and the ability levels of the students.
• Expand your photo library even further by having students cut pictures out of magazines and newspapers to help find additional images fitting sorting criteria.
• After performing examples of sorts using both the 3-column chart and the Venn Diagram, challenge students to design and execute their own sorts. Developing sorts demonstrates true understanding of sorting criteria with the aid of graphic organizers to analyze and display data.
In addition to sorting exercises, use the cards for reference and as discussion starters.
Sample Sort – “Living/Non-Living”
Locate 10 cards per student that have a 50-50 mix of living and non-living things pictured. On the 3-column T-Chart, guide students to create columns labeled “Living,” “Non-Living,” and “Not Sure.” Have students sort their 10 photos accordingly. When discussing the sort results, make sure to emphasize what makes something living (requires food, water, and air to survive). Help students sort any images left in their “Not Sure” column.
Sample Sort – “Has Wings/Flies in the Air”
Locate 10 cards per student that include items with wings and items that are able to fly in the air (birds, balloons, kites, etc.). Use the Venn Diagram with the labels “Has Wings” for one circle and “Flies in the air” for the other circle. Guide students to sort their images accordingly. Make sure to show how to place an image that meets both criteria within the middle section shared by both circles. When discussing the sort results, make sure
to guide students to the conclusion that one criterion does not necessarily depend on another. In this sort, just because an item has wings does not mean it can fly. Similarly, just because an object can fly in the air does not require it to have wings.
Sample Sort – “Uses Electricity”
Locate the Technology & Tool cards that are color-coded purple and the Motion cards that are color-coded yellow. Use the 3-column chart and have students label the columns “Uses Electricity,” “Uses Other Fuel,” and “Uses No Fuel.” Make sure students clearly establish and understand the criterion of “other fuel” to mean an energy source such as gasoline, wind, or
another fuel type. When discussing sort results, take the opportunity to challenge students to research items they disagree upon to reach a reasonable conclusion.
Sample Sort – “Types of Animals”
Locate the Animal cards that are color-coded magenta. Use the Venn Diagram chart and label the circles with the criteria “Predators” and “Prey.” Sort the cards into the Venn Diagram. See if students can determine if the animals are predators (animals that hunt and eat other animals) or prey (animals that are hunted and eaten by other animals).
Can an animal be both predator and prey? (Yes) Animals are a great way to get students sorting using their own criteria. Challenge students to create different animal sorts using both the 3-column chart and the Venn Diagram. Discuss the advantage of using a Venn Diagram versus the 3- column chart (Venn Diagram visually shows inclusion in two groups).
Other Sorting Suggestions
Students can use these examples to help them learn to create their own sorting exercises. After using the primary theme to sort, expand the sort to involve all cards since many mages can crossover to multiple criteria.
Water as a Solid/Water as a Gas/Water as a Liquid (Water & Weather)
Lever/Inclined Plane/Pulley (Simple Machines)
Renewable Energy/Non-Renewable Energy/Not Sure (Energy)
Spread Seeds Using Wind or Water / Spreads Seeds Using Animals (Plants)
Shows Change Made by Nature / Shows Change Made by Humans
(Earth & Space)
Mostly Vertical Motion / Mostly Horizontal Motion (Motion)
Tools for Communication / Tools to Collect Data (Technology & Tools)
Care and Use
Mats are write-and-wipe compatible for labeling. Students can also add any
additional words that come to mind during sorting activities.
Use a dry-erase or wet-erase marker on the mats. Test your marker on a
corner of a mat to make sure that it can be erased.
Clean off marks with a damp cloth, but do not saturate the mats with
water. Using too much water will ruin the mats. Store the mats in the
sturdy box provided to keep them in good condition.
Special Needs Applications
Autism Spectrum Disorders
Traumatic Brain Injury
Speech & Language Disorders
Learning Resources manufactures a wide range of award-winning toys and learning aids for children from two to twelve years. Most of our customers are teachers (or other educational practitioners) but many are also parents, grandparents, aunts & uncles; in fact anyone who wants to make a positive difference to a child's growth and development. Our company started in King's Lynn in Norfolk in 1994 in response to demand from European customers for the products made by our parent company Learning Resources Inc. of Vernon Hills, Illinois. For more than thirty years our American colleagues have been developing quality educational products that make learning exciting for children of all abilities. Together we create hands-on products that build a concrete foundation of skills through exploration, imagination and fun.
Of course all of our products conform to all European safety standards so during the years Learning Resources has become The Brand Teachers Trust supplying teachers with educational products for early years education, maths and literacy learning, phonics (letters & sounds), reading, science, personal, social & health education (PSHE), and English as an Additional Language (EAL).
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