Included in this set are life cycle sorts for frogs, ladybugs, butterflies, and two flowering plants: beans and sunflowers. All sorts are arranged by the different stages of the life cycles and use appropriate vocabulary.
Some ideas for differentiation:
Copy sorting mats and cards onto cardstock, allow students to work with a partner to sort the cards, and then have them copy the sort into a science journal. Tent card directions included.
Copy the notebook version of the sorting mat onto regular paper and have students copy the sort onto this page and then cut and paste into journal. I prefer this choice because so often my students have difficulty recreating the sorting mat in their journal to an adequate size. Tent card directions included.
Allow lower performing students to sort only the picture cards, and higher performing students to sort only the word cards.
One of my favorite sorts to assign students is an open sort. Give students two (or more) sets of picture cards and allow them to sort them into groups without a sorting mat and without any guidelines. There is no wrong answer. Have them explain how they sorted the cards and why. You will be amazed at the connections your students will make and the deeper level of thinking you will see. Let them share their sorts with their classmates…often students will emulate one group and then try to “outdo” them. These are a lot of fun!
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