Sorting by Color

1 teachers like this lesson
Print Lesson


Students will be able to compare objects and sort objects by color.

Big Idea

Counting bears that are the same size and shape help students focus on just one attribute.

Problem of the Day

5 minutes

I start the lesson with a problem of the day to help students review skills and concepts from prior lessons and develop their ability to problem solve.  I call the students up to the carpet. The students find their spots while saying this chant with me.

Criss cross, applesauce, hands in your lap, eyes on the teacher, you've got to show me that.

I project the Problem of the Day on the SMARTBoard and say to students, "This is our Problem of the Day for today.  Look at the flowers.  Which flower is different?"  I call a student up to point to the flower that is different.  I ask the other students to show if they agree or disagree by putting their thumbs up or down.  I ask a student who has his or her thumb up, "How is that flower different?"  (It only has one leaf.)  If students struggle with finding the different flower, discuss how the flowers are the same.  All the flowers are orange.  All have 7 petals.  All have a yellow circle as the center.  All have a stem. Then ask, "What about the leaves?  Are they the same?"

If you don't have a SMARTBoard, you can use the Problem of the Day pdf copy of the slides in a variety of ways to reproduce this activity.

I tell students, "Today we will be comparing objects, and we will be paying close attention to the color of the objects."

Presentation of Lesson

25 minutes

I start the lesson with this Dr. Jean song called "Color Farm".  This gets the students thinking about colors and helps students who do not know all of their colors. 

When the song is finished, I have student move into a circle and remind them to sit with their bottoms on the hard floor so that there is room for everyone.  I also remind students that when we are doing an activity in the circle, they need to keep their hands to themselves and stay seated so that everyone can see and pay attention.  At the beginning of the year, students may need this reminder frequently throughout the lesson.  Reaching out to grab the lesson materials can be very tempting.

"Today we are going to compare these bears.  We are going to sort them.  Sort means to group things together that have something in common.  We are going to put the bears together that are the same color.  Their color will be what they have in common."

I put a yellow bear into the yellow sorting circle and a red bear in the red sorting circle.  I hand a yellow bear to a student and have him or her place it into the correct sorting circle.  I continue with more red and yellow bears until all student have gotten a turn.  Several times throughout the activity, I ask, "Why did you put the bear in that circle?"  When all of the bears have been sorted, I ask, "How did we sort these bear?"  (We sorted by color.)

I then tell students that we will be practicing this on a Color Sorting worksheet.  I think that using manipulatives helps students learn, but taking the time to do a short worksheet each day helps the students learn basic paper and pencil skills, improves their fine motor skills, and builds stamina.  It also helps students get ready for the paper and pencil assessment that they will take at the end of the unit.

I show students the paper and say, "We will be doing this paper together.  When you get to your seats, you need to get out your pencil and put your name on your paper.  When your name is on your paper hold your pencil in the air, that will let me know that you are ready to start."  I like to have students hold up their pencils or put their hands on their heads when they are finished with a task.  It makes it easy for me to see who is ready and also keeps the students from writing all over their papers while they wait for other students to finish.  Prior to the lesson, I use a highlighter to write student names on papers for students who are unable to write their name.

I hand each student a paper and they walk back to their seats.  While the students are writing their names, I turn on the projector and document camera and display the worksheet on the SMARTBoard.  When all students have their pencils up, I say, "The directions on this paper say circle the pictures in the box that belong with each group."  I tell students to put their pencil point on number 1.  I model this on the SMARTBoard.  I call a student up to point to the picture that belongs with the first group of objects.  I ask, "Why did you chose that apple?"  (It is green.  All of the other pictures are green.)  I continue this with the other questions.  When the paper is finished, I have students put their pencils away.  I show them the paper tray in the front of the room.  I tell students that when they are finished with math papers, they will be putting them in this tray to be checked.  I model how to walk up to the tray and lay my paper in it correctly so that other papers can lay flat on top of it.  I call each table up one at a time and watch as students put their papers in the tray.


15 minutes

I tell students, "Now you will have a chance to do some sorting of your own."  I show students plastic trays filled with color tiles, and say, "We are going to sort these tiles by color today. Remember you need to group the objects that are the same color."  For this lesson, I use flat color tiles.  I have some that are plastic and some that are foam.  Both work, but the foam ones are much quieter when the student put their hands in the tray.  I review the rules for group work.

Share the materials in the tray.

Materials are to be pulled out as needed. (The tray does not need to be dumped out.) 

Talk in quiet voices. 

I remind students that when the clean up song comes on, they need to put all of their materials back into the tray and put their heads down.  I have students return to their seats and give each table a tray of objects.  I circulate throughout the room to ensure that students are sorting.  I use the remaining time to pull students to complete our beginning of the year baseline assessment.  To clean up, I turn on the clean up song.  I use Dr. Jean’s Tidy Up.  It is on her All Day Long album.


5 minutes

I close this lesson by inviting students back up to the carpet.  I turn on the projector and document camera and let several students share their work on the screen.  The students like getting to "Be the teacher" and other students like seeing their classmates' work being projected on the SMARTBoard. 

I mention positive things that I noticed during the practice time such as, "I like how you remembered to use your inside voices."  I also include something that needs to be better next time such as, "Tomorrow we need to remember to put our heads down when we are done cleaning up." I review what we did during our whole group lesson.  "Today we talked about sorting by color. This means putting things in groups that are the same color.  Tomorrow, we are going to look at some other things that can be sorted by color."