The Tall and Short Tree Sort


















If you’re doing a study of trees, here’s a math activity to get your kids going.  It could be used as an independent game, at your working tables for example, or you could easily use it as an extension activity after any number of fantastic tree books.  Now, I’m going to share two things with you.  The first is this set of tree sorting cards.  Just click on the link below, and then click on the document icon to be connected to the PDF.  (The file is yours to use as an educational tool, not for sale or gain, of course.  And, as with other resources here on this site, please please share, but please please cite as your source.) 

Tree Sort and Series Cards

 Now, I told you I was going to share TWO things with you.  The set of tree cards is the first.  The second, is the fact that I am not and never have been an art major!  So,  please excuse my quick drawings of trees.  I’m sure many of you could make a much better set, and you have my blessings to do so!  These do seem to do the job though.  So far, I haven’t had any children ask me what they’re supposed to do with the mushrooms!

These cards may seem self-explanatory, but I’ll explain anyway, because I’m known for stating the obvious.  Once these cards are printed, cut, and laminated if you wish, mix them up, providing one card of each set to a child to sort out and find all the trees that look similar and put them in a group.  (If you can’t tell, there’s an apple tree, a regular tree….you could call it Maple if you want to, a pine tree, and a palm tree.)  Once the cards are sorted into groups, have the children put them in ascending order, smallest to tallest.  Some children can do this right away, others need to be coached through it (“Which one is the smallest?  Put it here.  Which one is the biggest?  That goes over here. …..”)  If you’re working with very young children, you may want to omit one card from each set, so that you just have small, medium, and large.  That makes it easier to make comparisons.

 tree series

This activity could obviously be done at a table or on the floor, but if you have a pocket chart, the kiddos always love the chance to use the “teacher’s stuff”.

This activity builds math skills  as the children sort based on characteristics and compare the cards in order to place them in ascending order.  Vocabulary is expanded also as you use comparative words, such as big, bigger, biggest, and other words for size (small, short, tall, etc.).

You could also create a similar activity, using actual leaves from different types of trees.  Get a small, medium, and large sample of each one, and let your little ones sort them out and then arrange them in a series!

For more favorite fall activities, click here!

Top photo by Izabelha.


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Filed under Learning through Play and Experience, math activity

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