Vegetable and Fruit Sorting

Sorting of Emotions

Sorting of Clothes



 Private classes of English;

 A group of 6 children aged 5-6

 Children attend the lessons once a week for 1h


1. Lesson / task description - before

TA aims :

  1. To let the ss practice the following features of objects (re Vegetables and Fruits)  1. Colour 2. Belonging to Fruit or Vegetable group 3. Shape
  2. To let the ss practice the strength of emotions,and to see whether they are able see the features in a picture and compare the same features among the different pictures
  3. To let the ss practice the selection of clothes for a given purpose, to let the SS see that clothes can be sorted by colour.


In terms of subject matter:

1. To repeat (teach) food vocabulary, colors.

2. To repeat (teach) emotions. (+Song “How are you?”

3. To repeat (teach) clothes vocabulary (warm – cold, for a rainy day) (+Song “Put On Your Shoes”)


Materials I am going to use:

  1. Prepared sets of mixed vegetables and fruits. Food cards Plastic Food Food cards 2 Prepared set of shapes. Shapes
  2. Prepared set of cards with emotions Emotions
  3. Prepared sets of hats, jackets, pants, shoes Hats Jackets


Tasks I am going to use:

  1. To form pairs according to colour of clothes. Each pair is given a set of vegetables and fruits. SS divide food according to colour. Regroup according to shape (I give prepared shapes). Divide into 2 groups (vegetables and fruits). Regroup (a student regroups alone)
  2. To divide emotions (positivie, negative, neutral) – group work, to arrange emotions according to their strength (pair work), to odd one card within a group out (individual work).
  3. A Bear has invited everyone to his birthday party outside, but it is raining. SS have to choose an appropriate hat, a jacket, pants and shoes for a rainy day (individual work). (Homework – to choose clothes for a Sunny Party (it is warm, it is fun, clothes are of sunny colours) A Bear


2. Lesson / task description


Procedures: 1.First I told children that we are going to form pairs and we will have different tasks. Each task they should work with a new person. I suggested them to form pairs according to the same parameter – colour). Then I gave each pair a set of vegetables and fruits. I asked them to group them according to colour. Food sorting For 6 year olds it was easy. For 5 y.olds it was not easy – they had to think and it took time for them to sort. Food sorting by colour There is one set of cards, where there are depicted dishes (plates, cups). Children grouped cards with food, looking at the colour of the dishes, because there was much more colour in them. I didn’t put their attention to the fact that it was not the colour of food. I saw, that they did the grouping, considering the given parameter. Food sorting by colour

For the 7 y.o. girl I gave additional challenge, by asking her to divide the objects into 2 groups (she found herself, that there were fruits and vegetables), Fruits and vegetablesthen I asked her to regroup them (she found, that there were cut vegetables and the whole ones), Sorting cut-not cut then I asked her to regroup them again. She was stuck. I have her shapes (circle, triange, rectangle)  and offered her to find food accordingly. (Frankly, to form vegetables according to shape is a poor sorting, because most of them are round or oval, but I had only four shapes – a circle, a triangle , a square and a rectangle) Sorting by shapes


2. Then we started to work with emotions. In a group we sorted all the emotions into three groups. Then formed three pairs and started to work with emotions, arranging them from the most expressed emotion to the least expressed. Ranging negative emotions Then I asked to odd one card of the three out and to explain why. SS noted the parameter – colour and one picture they excluded, because it was black, not brown as the two other. At the photo one is excluded, because of his foot: he alone shows his foot to us. Odd one out

Birdie Birdie – So, tell me, why is it out?

S – it is brown, they are black.

Birdie - Ok, why is it odd one?

S – it has a long tail.

Birdie – Do the rest of the animals  have tails?

S – No, only one more animal.

Birdie – So, how can we odd it out, if not everyone has a tail? If all of them had tails, we could odd it out, because it would have the longest or the shortest tail.

S – Ok, it has a pencil.

Birdie – Good, it really has. No one else has it. Odd One Out - pencil


3       I invited the SS to sit at the tables and gave them sheets of paper with hats, jackets, pants and shoes on them. Then I showed them my Bear and told them that everyone is invited to his Birthday Party. But the party is outside and it is raining. What would they wear?

Children started to circle the relevant hat, jacket, pants, shoes. The Bear checked the choice and commented: “Well done!”, “Are you sure?”, “No! It won’t do!”

Then the Bear invited everyone to play snowballs with him and asked to circle relevant clothes. A a homework, the Bear has invited everyone to his Sunny Party and asked to choose the relevant clothes and to colour them accordingly (in sunny colours). SS had black-and-white copies, so they had to colour clothes themselves.


3. Overall reflection on the lesson / task

Aim aspect: The most difficult for me was to see myself and thus to explain the children why each card could be odd in the emotional sector of the lesson. We have already grouped the cards all together – by the quality of the emotion. Sadly, pictures of animals cannot always be separated by the colour or clothes. More features, like quality of animals, their types,  their appearance should be considered.  It appears that to odd out emotional pictures goes ahead of what I have managed to teach them. So I ask them to perform what they cannot at the moment.

I think it would be useful to train sorting with animals separately and then get back to the game odd one out with emotions.

What concerns challenge, for some children I managed to give an appropriate challenge, increasing it when the task was done. But then I realised that my imagination and a bank of challenge has its limits. So I have to work on this as well.  They were busy with the task and seemed to be thinking and fulfilled the task. A task with shapes and vegetables was not quite appropriate,  I saw it, when a number of my SS didn’t perform it, although I explained what they needed to do twice.

As to the time management and the flow of the lesson. With my older group I realised that my 15 minutes are too little time for TA. This lesson I spent half an hour for all that I planned. This influenced badly the group dynamics leading to bad and demotivating behaviour of boys. When they had to think, it took time and for each one time to fulfil the task differs. The boys chose the easiest way, started to play and the lesson area transformed into a playground. Here I see my mistake – I didn’t put the task into appropriate context that would motivate everyone, even naughty boys.


# Alexander Sokol 2013-10-08 17:46
Diana, thanks for the detailed description and the pictures. They definitely make it easier to imagine the lesson. I do suggest bigger pictures, though.

Re the lesson itself my main concern is the rationale for sorting, both in terms of making it a thinking task and 'selling' it to the learners.

I might be wrong but it seems that most of sorting tasks during the lesson were either based on what learners already knew or just asked them to memorise something. Colour is obviously a familiar concept to even 5 year olds, isn't it? Shape might be new for some but you were not really concerned with features of different shapes. The same is true about fruit and vegetables - learners didn't need to learn anything about the features of either fruit or vegetables, just the fact that this or that food item is one or the other.

A possible way of making one of your activities more TA would be to ask your learners to choose food for one of the characters that you bring to the lesson. You could tell them that the character is very hungry but unfortunately she can't eat everything. She is very allergic, say, to fruit. Then learners have to choose food in the shop. There you can get them to the idea that they are not sure if something is a fruit or not. This would create a real reason for learning - how do we know if something is a fruit? In this case, sorting might have a real reason - we sort in order to understand if something is a fruit or not (eg sorting according to how it grows, if it has a seed, etc.).

This is just an example - I am not sure you wanted to go to fruit vs vegetable difference with your learners. However, from the TA point of view, it would have created the reason for sorting.
# Diana Bolgare 2013-10-11 20:27
Dear Alexander, thank you for your detailed comments and for your time. As I see, at one hand I have to operate such features a 5 (6) year old child knows (colour, shape, size) and from the other hand I have to introduce new ones. And thinking starts here. With fruits they might be sweet taste, ability to put in hands, being a single piece ( in Russian mentality) in English mentality fruits might be a tomato (easily peeled), as a plum,an orange, or a pumkin (eatable sweet pulp, with seeds, with hard peel, that removes easily). A good point might be to introduce Russian and English semantic field of a notion "fruits". I'll try both your suggestions about a hungry allergic and this differences in languages tomorrow.
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