Budding geologists Josh and Amy are crazy about collecting rocks. And with the help of local expert Dave, they learn how to sort rocks by different attributes: size, color, hardness and type. "We're kind of like rock detectives," says Amy. The story is filled with lots of rock facts.
Classifying objects according to attributes is a skill used throughout mathematics and science.
Place a handful of blocks of different sizes and colors on the table and talk about the different ways that the blocks can be grouped.
On sheets of different colored paper, draw a variety of shapes in different sizes: triangles, rectangles, squares, pentagons, etc. Help your child (or students) cut out the shapes and ask her to place them in groups by size, color, shape or other attributes.
Teacher Idea: We do sorting for "Dave’s Down to Earth Rock Shop." We do nuts, bolts and screws and it really gets the kids going. You would be surprised at some of the language I get out of the children, such as, “I like the texture of this,” or “We did this by shape,” or “We did this by color.”
A great activity for Party Day or Halloween involves candy. I divide the kids into groups and give each group a bunch of candy. They have to sort and classify it and graph their data however they choose. Then they have to present their observations to the class. Afterwards, they have sort and share the candy among their group. And then—finally—they get to keep it! --Richard Callan, Bunker Hill Elementary School, Indianapolis, IN