During this lesson, students will sort snacks based on color and count the number of each color.
Duration: 30-45 minutes
- Small bags of snacks. Snacks could include M&Ms, small bags of jelly beans, or fruit snack bags. Healthier options might include small baggies filled with dried fruit (apricots, raisins, banana chips) or an assortment of Cheerios (a bag of the fruity Cheerios, or a selection of multigrain, honey nut, strawberry, etc.).
- For modeling, the teacher should have some translucent colored disks, or at the very least colored overhead markers.
- For their independent work, they will need small baggies or envelopes with 20 squares of three different colors. There should be no more than nine squares of any color.
Key Vocabulary: Sort, color, count, most, least
Objectives: Students will classify and sort objects based on color. Students will count objects to 10.
Standards Met: K.MD.3. Classify objects into given categories; count the numbers of objects in each category and sort the categories by count.
Lesson Introduction: Pass out the bags of snacks. (For the purposes of this lesson, we will use the example of M&Ms.) Ask students to describe the snacks inside. Students should give descriptive words for the M&Ms - colorful, round, tasty, hard, etc. Promise them that they will get to eat them, but math comes first!
Step-by Step Procedure:
- Have students carefully pour out snacks onto a clean desk.
- Using the overhead and colored disks, model to students how to sort. Begin by describing the lesson objective, which is to sort these by color so that we can count them more easily.
- When modeling, make these types of comments to guide students' understanding: "This one is red. Should it go with the orange M&Ms?" "Ah, a green one! I'll put this in the yellow pile." (Hopefully, students will correct you.) "Wow, we have a lot of brown ones. I wonder how many there are!"
- Once you have modeled how to sort the snacks, do a choral counting of each group of snacks. This will allow for students who are struggling with their counting abilities to blend in with the class. You will be able to identify and support these students during their independent work.
- If time allows, ask students which group has the most. Which group of M&Ms has more than any other group? That is the one that they can eat first.
- Which has the least? Which group of M&Ms is the smallest? That is the one they can eat next.
Homework/Assessment: An assessment for students following this activity may take place on a different day, depending on the time needed and the attention span of the class. Each student should receive an envelope or baggie filled with colored squares, a piece of paper, and a small bottle of glue. Ask students to sort their colored squares, and to glue them in groups by color.
Evaluation: The evaluation of student understanding will be twofold. One, you can collect the glued square papers to see if students were correctly able to sort. As well, as students are working on their sorting and gluing, the teacher should walk around to individual students to see if they can count the quantities.