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Sorting Cookies by Shape and Size

Children will sort cookies by shape and size in this School Readiness Activity. This activity provides early mathematics thinking experiences for preschool children that will prepare them to do well in the early grades.
Grades:

Sorting Cookies by Shape and Size

Bunny Cakes by Rosemary WellsPurpose/Skills

  • To review what is known about sorting and classifying
  • To sort objects according to two characteristics
  • To notice how objects are alike and different
  • To compare objects

Materials
Large circles, small circles, large triangles, small triangles
Paper plates with one type of cookie model glued to each plate

Literature Suggestion
Help children recall and retell Bunny Cakes by Rosemary Wells or another book that lends itself to a discussion of cookies.

Vocabulary
sorting
alike
different
circles
triangles

Warm-Up
Help children recall the "Cookie Chant." Tell them you are going to teach them a new "Shape Cookie Chant:"
    I love cookies, circles or not
    I love cookies, cold or hot.
    I love cookies that look like triangles,
    I love cookies with lots of spangles.

Procedure

  • Present children with the new set of paper cookies and name them: small circles, large circles, small triangles, and large triangles. Make sure every child is comfortable with the sizes large and small, and the shapes circle and triangle, before you begin the activity.
  • Using a think-aloud approach, model sorting the cookies. Example: "Here's a small triangle, it goes on the plate with the other small triangles. Let's find all of the small triangles. They're all alike. They are small and all shaped like a triangle. Here's a large circle. That's different. Help me find where it goes."
  • To foster sorting skills, encourage children to talk about their sorting. Help children who are having difficulty sorting cookies only by size or color.
Enrichment
When children finish sorting, have them arrange the shapes into cookie people. Glue down head and body shapes; then draw arms, legs, and faces. Some children may recall the "Shape Cookie Chant" and choose to decorate their cookies with spangles.

Observation Assessment

  • Proficient - Child can sort items according to shape and size with little assistance.
  • In Process - Child can sort items according to shape and size, but requires considerable assistance.
  • Not Yet Ready - Child can sort by shape, but cannot yet sort by both size and shape.

Excerpted from

School Readiness Activity Cards
Pearson Early Childhood
Excerpted from School Readiness Activity Cards. The Preschool Activity Cards provide engaging and purposeful experiences that develop language, literacy, and math skills for preschool children.

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