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Garden City School Library: What Belongs Together?

Essential Question

What does it mean to sort objects into categories?

Lesson 1: DIfferent? Same!

  • Discussion: Ask if anyone can define "category." Explain that all the things in a category have at least one characteristic in common. Ask students to stand up if they are wearing sneakers / long sleeves / a shirt with words on it / etc.
  • Readloud: Read Different? Same! by Heather Tekavec / illustrated by Pippa Curnick, asking the students to figure out how all of the animals on each spread go together. (Put Post-Its over the answer in the bottom left corner.)
  • Activity: Hand out sorting flashcards (they always have them in the $1 bins at Target at the beginning of the school year ... or just use a regular deck of cards). Tell the students to find at least one other person whose card matches theirs in some way. Then make them do it again, but using different criteria.

Lesson 2: Which One Doesn't Belong?

  • Readloud: Read Which One Doesn't Belong? by Christopher Danielson. This one doesn't have specific answers ... any one of the four objects on each page could be the odd one out depending on what characteristic you choose to sort by. Don't go to the next page until at least two students share different answers. (Confession time: as the book goes on, the challenge gets harder, until even I can't come up with good answers.)
  • Videos: Watch the following Sesame Street "Three of These Things" videos (you can stop them after the first verse) and ask the kids to share what doesn't belong.
  • Shoes 
  • Kids playing sports 
  • Kermit and Susan 
  • Or you can watch this video from KidsAcademy.
  • Or this one from Mighty Owl.

Lesson 3 - More Categories

  • Activity: Run through several of the worksheets posted at Ask 1. What doesn't belong? 2. What category do the other items belong to? 3. What else could we add to that category?
  • Assessment: Read the questions and name the items in each box on this assessment. The final question is optional. 

1 = 0-2 correct answers

2 = 3-4 correct answers

3 = 5-6 correct answers

4 = 6 correct answers AND the final question has four separate items and I can mostly tell what they are and which one doesn't belong


Standards Addressed

AASLI.B.3 - Generating products that illustrate learning; III.A.2 - Developing new understandings through engagement in a learning group; III.D.1 - Actively contributing to group discussions; IV.B.4 - Organizing information by priority, topic, or other systematic scheme

RI Core: RI.K.3 - With prompting and support, describe the connection between two individuals, events, ideas, or pieces of information in a textSL.K.2 Confirm understanding of a text read aloud or information presented orally or through other media by asking and answering questions about key details; K.MD.B.3 - Classify objects into given categories.

Rhode Island Cross-Curricular Proficiencies: Communication - Select and analyze relevant information; Use a method of communication (e.g., written, oral, visual, graphic, audio, and/or interactive) to present ideas; Problem Solving and Critical Thinking - Identify relevant information/data from resources and analyze patterns and trends to identify relationships.

Rhode Island School Library Curriculum Priority Skills: 1.1 - With help, sorts and categorizes “like” and “different” objects; Verbally and physically demonstrates simple organizational skills such as sorting and categorizing objects and information; Uses writing process, emergent writing, and drawing to develop expression of new understandings; 3.2 - Participates in collaborative conversations with peers and adults to share ideas and information