Choose the classification system you would like to use:

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Language and Communication use adjectives to describe and classify objects  This resource has been viewed by a moderator.


The child will understand and use a variety of adjectives.

Early years skill:not specified
Early years typical range:not specified
P-scales/Nat. Curriculum skill:Materials and Their Properties
P-scales/Nat. Curriculum level:L2
TAP skill:Language
TAP level:TAP72
Section: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
Classify the object 1
  • A selection of common objects (you could use pictures instead)
  • Suitable adjectives could include:
  • common colours (red etc.) plus multi-coloured
  • rough/smooth
  • round
  • flat
  • edible
  • size terms (big etc.)
  • expensive/cheap
  • old/new/old-fashioned
  • striped
  • spotted
  • patterned
  • metallic
  • wooden
  • plastic
  • painted

1. Decide on a common category e.g. "things which are round" or "things which are red".

2. Help the child to sort the items into 2 groups according to whether they fit the category or not (i.e. a 'red' group and a 'not red' group).

Classify the object 2

A selection of common objects (you could use pictures instead)

2 sorting rings (draw two overlapping circles on a large sheet of paper if these are not available)

Category labels (optional)

1. Decide on two common categories e.g. "things which are round" and "things which are red".

2. Place the sorting rings on the table so that they overlap.

3. Explain that one ring is for items that have one feature (e.g. "round"). Explain that the other ring is for items that have the other feature (e.g. "red"). Explain that where the rings overlap, is where things that have both features go (see diagram on the left). Items which do not fit either category are left outside the rings.

4. Add labels if you are using them.

5. Help the child to sort the items into groups according to which category they fit.

To make this activity more difficult, you could sort according to three categories.

Spider chart
  • Pencil and paper


Example of a spider chart:

What's in the bag?
  • Bag
  • Common objects



No materials required

Works well as a group activity - could be used as an ice-breaker.

I spy adjectives

No materials required.

  • Any book about different animals
  • "Touch and feel" type books
  • "All Kinds of Bodies" - Emma Brownjohn
  • The "Children just like me" series - Annabel Kindersley and Barnabas Kindersley



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