Most children like to touch, feel, and experience the world around them. With sorting mats, students compare objects by looking at different properties. Each sorting mat has a pair of opposite words like shiny and dull or big and small.
Children get a bucket of items and sort the items along or with a partner. Children are encouraged to talk about why he/she classified the item as shiny or dull or big or small. This can be done as a whole class or as a science center activity.
9 different sorting mats are included, each with a pair of opposite qualities like long and short. Mats can be printed, glued on construction paper, and laminated for multiple uses. Students can sort items alone or with a partner.
Some ideas of materials you can put in tubs to use with the science mats: (Feel free to add your own materials and be creative)
popsicle sticks, paint sticks
paper clips, clothes pins
various colors, shapes, and sizes of rocks and shells
jar lids, mint tins
CDs, small aluminum pie tins, metal washers, bolts
cotton balls, pipe cleaners, corks, foam peanuts
Sorting Mats align with Common Core Math Standards:
KMP2 & 1st grade MP2 Reason abstractly and quantitatively
K.MD.A.1 Describe measurable attributes of objects such as length or weight. Describe several measurable attributes of a single object.
K.MD.A.2 Directly compare two objects with a measurable attribute in common, to see which object has "more of/less of" the attribute and describe the difference.
This activity also aligns with K-2 NGSS Science & Engineering Practice: Analyzing & Interpreting Data: Analyzing data in K-2 builds on prior experiences and progresses to collecting, recording, and sharing observations.