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Language and Communication Sorting objects and pictures  This resource has been viewed by a moderator.


Sorting objects and pictures

Early years skill:Numbers
Early years typical range:22-36m
P-scales/Nat. Curriculum skill:Maths Using and Applying
P-scales/Nat. Curriculum level:P6
TAP skill:Language
TAP level:TAP36
Section:Early Years (0-5yrs) info; Primary (5-11yrs) info
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Activity/strategy name and materials required How to do the activity Key principles for doing the activity and comments
Sorting objects into boxes

Groups of knives/forks


Toy cars/toy lorries

Big books/little books

Red pens/blue pens/green pens

Two boxes/baskets

Assemble the items you want sort - the child can help do this.

Put one item from one group into one of the boxes and one item from the other group into another box.

Put all the items to be sorted in a bag or on your knee under the table. Draw them out one at time and put in right box. Say 'Look..............knife, more knife, more knife' etc

Sorting into three boxes is more difficult so do this when the child can do sorting into 2 boxes.

Sorting similar objects is more difficult than sorting quite different objects, so sort big cars/little cars when the child can easily sort 3 groups of things.

Start using objects and move onto pictures.

Its easier to identify things as being the same and takes longer to identify a thing as being different - allow enough time for this skill.

Sorting pictures

Pictures from magazines of clothing/toys/foods

Home made pictures or shapes on the computer

Find the odd man out

Groups of identical things e.g. lego bricks/paper clips/scissors/bean bags

A contrasting item e.g. sock/cup/ball.

Group of identical pictures and an odd-man-out picture.


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