The Return of Super Sorter!

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Students will be able to sort items with multiple attributes by using a Venn Diagram.

Big Idea

Understanding multiple attributes is an important mathematical process. The students use their knowledge of Venn Diagrams in this lesson to gain more knowledge about this concept.


5 minutes

For this part of the lesson, we will be rereading, Organizing Olive, The Super Sorter.  This story was used in the previous lesson.  Print the file on a color printer.  I laminate the pages for durability and bind it with a comb binding machine.  Book rings would also work well. You will need to cut out pieces and apply Velcro to them as per the instructions on the last page of the file.  This will allow the book to be interactive.  I like to reread texts so students feel more confident with them and will read them in their free time. 

I gather the students around my chair  I begin reading the book to the students.  I say to them, Remember Organizing Olive? We are going to read her story again today to see if we can remember how she organized her things.  The title of this story is, Organizing Olive, Super Sorter.

Page 1:  "This is Olive.  She likes to organize things.  She sorts them into groups."  I see that she has a box full of shoes and a box full of Legos.  She must have sorted items into these boxes.

Page 2:  Olive has a problem.  Sometimes the things she sorts belong in more than one box.  I see she has a pink stuffed animals.  Her boxes say "Pink Things" and "Stuffed Animals".  Now I know what the problem is.  This item is pink and it is a stuffed animal.  It could go in either box.  Now I understand what her problem is.  

Page 3:  Then Olive got an idea.  I read the text in the speech bubble:   What if I made a special box that would have a spot for things that belong in both boxes?

Page 4:  So Olive made special round boxes.  The circles crossed over in the middle.

Page 5:  When you open the boxes, they look like this:  Do you remember what said these special boxes looked like?  That's right!  A Venn diagram. 

Page 6:   Can you help Olive find the correct sport for the bunny?  I invite a student to come up and place the bunny in the correct spot.  I ask them to explain to the class why they put it there.  I then repeat what they said for the class.  The bunny is a stuffed animal AND pink so it goes into the center. 

Page 7: Let’s try organizing these items with Olive.  The signs says round toys and orange toys.  Let's see if we can figure out where each of these items go.  I invite students up to place the items on the Venn Diagram.  Again I have the student explain why it was put there and repeat their explanation for the class.  

Page 8:  Here are some more items to organize.  It says food and round things.  I again invite students to come up and place the items in the correct spots on the Venn Diagram, explaining to the class why they placed them where they did. 

Page 9:  Olive is really organized….maybe a little TOO organized!   There is no such thing as too organized.  Now get me those puppies!

We then move over to the SMARTBoard for the instruction portion of the lesson.


15 minutes

For this portion of the lesson, I use my SMARTBoard.  If you have a SMARTBoard, the file can easily be downloaded and opened.  If you have a different type of interactive whiteboard, you can still use this lesson by opening the file in Smart Notebook Express.  There is also a PDF of the slides so you can recreate this part of the lesson.

I gather my students in front of the SMARTBoard.  I have cards with each student's name printed on.  These cards are used for selecting who will come up to the SMARTBoard.

Again, the lesson is similar to the previous day.  I want to continue to expand upon the students' introductory knowledge of graphs.

I open the first slide (SMARTBoard Slide 1) with the lesson objective written in "student friendly" terms.  There is a content objective and a language objective to help focus on vocabulary expansion for my English Learners (ELs) to be congruent with SIOP instructional techniques. I read these objectives aloud for my students.

Content Objective
I can use a Venn Diagram to sort objects.

Language Objective
I can tell a friend how to sort objects using a Venn diagram.

We then continue on with the next slides.

Slide 2: You did great sorting!  Now, let's make it a little trickier!  Do all of the shapes have a spot in a circle?  I invite students up to the SMARTBoard and they move the objects to the correct spaces.  When they have a shape that does not fit in either circle, I remind them that we can leave the item outside of the diagram to show that it does not belong.

Slide 3:  How about this one??  Again I invite students up to help sort the object. Each student called to the board moves one object.

Slide 4:  Can you do this one?  Students continue to move items.  This one requires a bit more discussion as some children were not familiar with all of the items pictured on the slide.  

Slide 5:  It is now Turn and Talk time. Students are given the chance to practice their academic vocabulary.  I have the students hold hands with their designated turn and talk partners then lift their hands in the air.  I say to them, My friend sorted these shapes.  Did he do it correctly?  If not, what was his mistake? (MP3 - Construct viable arguments and critique the reasoning of others)  I go over what are the categories for each part of the diagram.  I then give the students time to talk.  When they are done, I ask a student to share what she and her partner came up with.  The students said they were not sorted correctly because the blue triangle should have been in the middle.  I say, "You are correct."  I point to the triangle.  "This shape is blue and it is a triangle.   So it should be in the middle."  I invite a student to come up and move the shape to the correct spot.  We then return to our spots for guided practice.  

Guided Practice

10 minutes

For this portion of the lesson, you will need the Venn Diagram Guided Practice Kit.  Print out the bear and the red signs from the kit.  You will also need two hula hoops.  Lay out the Venn Diagram on the floor according to the diagram in the kit.  You will also need the following counters for your students.  You can adjust items based on number of students or what you have available for counters.

5-Red Bears

2- Blue Bears

2-Green Bears

2-Yellow Bears

4 Red Frogs

1-Yellow Frog

1-Green Frog

2 Red 1" cubes

1 Blue 1" Cube

1 Orange 1" Cube

I distribute the items to each of the students.  I then have them make a large circle around the Venn Diagram that is on the floor.  I tell the students, "We are going to sort our items into the Venn Diagram.  We have a circle for bears and a circle for red things.  What will go in the center of our circle.  That's right!  Bear that are red.  What will be do with things that don't fit in either circle.  Wow!! You really know how to use a Venn Diagram.  That's right.  We will place them outside of the circle."

I then have each student place their item in the Venn Diagram.  I ask the student to explain why he or she placed the item in that specific space. (MP3)  If they make a mistake, we talk through it as a group until the item is correctly placed.  We then count how many items are in each space of the Venn Diagram.  After we are done, the students return to their seats for independent practice.

Independent Practice and Informal Assessment

10 minutes

For this part of the lesson, you will need the More Sorting with the Venn Diagram Independent Practice activity sheet.  You will need page one for each student and page two can be cut in half, giving each student half a page.  Students will need scissors and glue sticks to complete the activity.

I pass out the sheets to the students and tell them that we are going to practice sorting with our Venn Diagram.  "You are going to cut the pictures out from this activity and sort them.  The things that are fish will go and in this circle and the things that are striped will go in this circle.  If it is a striped fish, it goes in both circles.  Before you glue your items down, please raise your hand and I will come check your work."

I circulate around the room, checking the students work and asking students to explain their reasoning.    Here is a video of a student completing the sort.  We correct any mistakes before the students glue the pieces down.  When they are all done, the students place their competed work in their mailboxes.