Grade Level: 5th Grade (can be adapted for other grade levels)
- Students will be able to create a classification flowchart.
- Students will be able to narrow down objects into as many subgroups as possible.
- Put students into groups of 8. Each student in the group takes off his/her right shoe and puts it in a pile. Label this “Original Set of shoes” on paper, and draw a box around it. This is the beginning of the flowchart.
- Groups will discuss characteristics that the shoes have in common. Divide the original set of shoes into 2 subgroups, by common characteristics. Label the flowchart by drawing arrows from the original box to the new subgroups.
- Divide each subgroup into two different categories by moving the shoes. Label the flowchart.
- Divide each new subgroup into two more subgroups. Label the flowchart.
- Continue process until each shoe has its own subgroup.
- Students' shoes
- Pencil and paper
- Observations: walk around and see if the students are on task and understand the process.
- Collect the flowcharts that the students created.
Teaching Tip: Students at this age level may be self-conscious about what they wear. If you decide to use this lesson, it may be a good idea to give students a heads up the day before and ask them to wear their "favorite pair of shoes." I would not recommend classifying shoes for classrooms where there are several students who come from a low socio-economic background. Students may become uncomfortable if they have old, dirty shoes while other students sport brand new, clean shoes. There are other ways that this lesson can be adapted to avoid self-esteem issues. Have students classify buttons, or give each student in a group a picture that falls under the same topic (such as pictures of birds).