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Classify by Characteristics!

Sorting Into Groups

TEACHER NOTES

Fairfax County Elementary Science Program of Studies


SCI.G1.1 The student will demonstrate an understanding of scientific reasoning, logic, and
the nature of science by planning and conducting investigations in which
1.a

the senses are used to observe differences in physical properties


1.a.1 Use senses to enhance observations of physical properties.

1.c

objects or events are classified and arranged according to characteristics or properties


1.c.1 Classify and arrange objects or events according to at least two attributes or
properties so that similarities and differences become apparent.

Links to Other Disciplines


MTH.G1
1.16 Sort and classify concrete objects according to one or more attributes, including color,
size, shape, and thickness.
Sort and classify picture cards of a variety of objects

Science Process Skills


observing, classifying

Unifying Concepts and Processes (NSES)


Constancy, Change, and Measurement

Lesson Overview

Preparation

Students will classify objects into groups


according to their characteristics.

Read Teacher Background and


Teaching Suggestions.
Have SIS Part One PowerPoint ready
to use.
Have SMART Notebook file ready
to view.
Copy sort cards from lesson.
Have parent or volunteer cut apart the
sort cards ahead of time.
Copy student sheet.

Suggested Time
30 minutes

Student Materials
-science notebooks*
-sort cards
-Can You Classify the Birds? student
sheet
-glue*
-scissors*

Resources

Teacher Materials

-cardinal puppet
-Classifying SMART Notebook file
-SIS Part One PowerPoint

Soaring Into Science

SIS Part One PowerPoint can be found


in eCART as R005FA3.
Classifying SMART Notebook can
be found in eCART as R005FA5.
Whats the Difference? by Natalie
Lunis (Newbridge) Trade book

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Classify by Characteristics!
Sorting Into Groups
Vocabulary
classify

Essential Learnings
Classify means to put things in groups
by the way they are alike.
Scientists observe and then classify
objects.

Teacher Background
Information
The National Science Education Standards
include classifying as a necessary process
skill. They define classifying as grouping
or ordering objects or events according to
similarities or differences in properties.
For first graders, we will define classifying
as putting things in groups by the way they
are alike.
It is important for students to determine the
categories of classifying by observing the
objects and seeing similarities. If prepared
categories are provided to students, the
level of thinking is reduced.

Teaching Suggestions
Link
1. ________ would like you to look at a
picture of a different type of bird.
Show picture from the SIS PowerPoint.
Talk to a partner; What is similar
about these two birds? What is
different? Allow a few students to
share ideas. Now show a third bird and
ask partners to group the birds by how
they are the same. Have a few pairs
share their ideas and why they chose
the particular grouping. When
scientists group things according to the
ways the objects are the same, they are
thinking about the characteristics of

Soaring Into Science

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TEACHER NOTES
the things in the groups, we can do that
too!

Engage and Educate


2. Display the first page of the
Classifying SMART Notebook.
Ask, How are these objects
sorted/grouped? by shape Are there
any other ways we could sort/group
these objects? by color, size Do you
know that scientists have a special
word for sorting things into groups
using their characteristics? Scientists
call this classifying. Lets practice
classifying together, then you will
classify with a partner. Show slide
three of the SMART Notebook and
have students share ideas for
classifying these objects. Ideas may
include: color, type of food, plant or
animal, etc.
Active Learning
3. Distribute a set of characteristic sort
cards included in the lesson to pairs of
students. Have the students classify
their cards in at least two different
ways. If students finish early, have
them trade cards with another pair to
try a different sort.
4. While students are classifying, the
teacher should move around the room
discussing with students the ways they
have chosen to group the cards.
Students should articulate their
thinking for why they chose to sort the
cards in a particular way.
5. When all students have completed the
sort, have a few pairs share the ways
they have chosen to classify their
cards.

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Classify by Characteristics!
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TEACHER NOTES

Reflect
6. Distribute a Can You Classify the
Birds? sheet to each student. Students
will cut apart the cards and then sort
the birds into two or more groups
based on their characteristics. The sort
can then be glued into their science
notebooks. Students can write a few
words to explain how they classified
the birds. This individual sort could be
used as an assessment.
Now and Then
7. Now that students have classified
objects and events by their
characteristics, then they will use
characteristics to classify leaves of
different types of trees.

Going Further
Have students bring in some of their
own items and sort them by
characteristics.

Accommodations/
Modifications
All picture and word sorts can be
placed at a center for further practice.
Read the big book Whats the
Difference? Discuss the differences in
the objects shown if extra practice is
needed.

Soaring Into Science

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Classify by Characteristics!
Sorting Into Groups

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Sorting Into Groups

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Classify by Characteristics!
Sorting Into Groups

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Can You Classify the Birds?


Cut apart and sort these birds based on characteristics.

Soaring Into Science

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Classify by Characteristics!
Sorting Into Groups

Soaring Into Science

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TEACHER NOTES

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