From simple to advanced worksheets that help student identify major characteristics and classify them into groups.

A great way to do this with students is to create sorting bins and start out really general. I often start teaching it with numbers 0-9 in a pile and 10-19 in another. Then I progress to colors and shapes. Starting out simple is the best way to get this skill going in their minds.

The worksheets include heavy use of Venn Diagrams to help students find likenesses and differences between organisms.

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Print Sortings Worksheets

Click the buttons to print each worksheet and associated answer key.

Sorting 3 Characteristics into Venn Diagrams

Since they are not triangles and they are not red shapes they are not shown in the Venn diagram.

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Sorting 3 Characteristics into Venn Diagrams

The big red triangle belongs in all three categories so it is placed where all the circles overlap. Now complete the other Venn diagrams.

A Little Help Student Worksheet

This goes along with the other 2 worksheets.

On Your Own Student Worksheet

An outlined Venn Diagram set for students.

Sorting Puppies

We compare and contrast the traits: Single Color, Rounded Ears and Large Breed.

Sorting 5 Characteristics into Venn Diagrams On Your Own

You can sort the breeds of dogs in lots of ways.

Puppy Printable

The Venn Diagram needed for the previous two sheets.

Sorting 7 Characteristics into Venn Diagrams

You can sort the African animals in lots of ways.

Sorting 7 Characteristics into Venn Diagrams A Little Help

You can sort the African animals in lots of ways.

African Animal Venns

Where does everything fit here?

Sorting 7 Characteristics into Venn Diagrams

In this example we can sort these animals in 7 ways: 1) long or short neck; 2) pattern or plain coat; 3) carnivore or herbivore; 4) can or cannot live in water; 5) antler/horn or no antler/horn; 6) hooves or paws; and 7) long or short legs. We will sort the animals using Venn diagrams.

Venn Diagram Outlines

See which of these Venns works best for you.

Double Sorting How It's Done

Look at these 10 pictures. Do you notice any similarities among them? They are all nature pictures but there are two types of pictures, flowers and insects.

Double Sorting On Your Own

Double sort these pictures into categories.

Double Sorting A Little Help

Look at these 10 pictures. Do you notice any similarities among them? They are all pictures of everyday objects but there are two types of pictures, chairs and kitchen things. Now double sort the items into the diagram.

Letter Sort - How It's Done

Draw a red box around the ten things that begin with the letter W.

Letter Sort - A Little Help

Draw a red box around the ten things that begin with the letter H.

Letter Sort - On Your Own

Draw a red box around the ten things that begin with the letter B.

Making Your Own Sorting Characteristics How It's Done

There are 10 nature pictures and you are asked to sort these pictures into categories of your choice. How many ways can you think of to sort these pictures? You don't need to include all the pictures in every sorting.

Making Your Own Sorting Characteristics A Little Help

Sort these pictures into categories of your choice of similar things. You don't need to use all the pictures for every sort.

Making Your Own Sorting Characteristics On Your Own

Sort these pictures into categories of your choice of similar things. You don't need to use all the pictures for every sort.

Student Sorting Sheet

Sort any group into two different categories.

Quadruple Sorting How It's Done

All of these nouns represent things associated with a school. You want to sort these nouns into categories, starting with the largest parts of the school, the building (I) and the grounds (R).

Quadruple Sorting A Little Help

All of these nouns represent things associated with flying. You want to sort these nouns into categories, starting with the airplane and the atmosphere it flies in.

Quadruple Sorting On Your Own

All of these nouns represent things associated with a shopping center. Sort these nouns into categories based upon your own judgment.

Quintuple Sorting How It's Done

A quintuple sort divides items into categories at five levels. If five levels of sorting seem like a lot of detail, this example will show you that five levels of complexity is common in everyday life.

Quintuple Sorting A Little Help

There are 25 species of birds listed in the table. You want to devise a quintuple sort of these birds and define five levels of sorting that includes all the bird species in the table.

Quintuple Sorting On Your Own

Sort these musical instruments into categories based upon your own judgment. You want to achieve a quintuple sort into five levels of categories.

Sorting - How It's Done

Draw a red box around the things that are round and red.

Sorting - A Little Help

Draw a red box around the things that are green and grow.

Sorting - On Your Own

Draw a red box around the ten things that move with wheels.

Sorting – Meet the Skill

Look at the pictures and sort them into 2 groups as given in the table at the bottom. Write each object's name under one part of the table.

Sorting – Try the Skill

Look at the pictures and sort them into 1 group as given in the table at the bottom. Write each object's name under one part of the table.

Sorting – Practice the Skill

Look at the pictures and sort them into 4 groups as given in the table at the bottom. Write each object's name under one part of the table.

Sorting – Practice the Skill Twice

Look at the pictures and sort them into 4 groups as given in the table at the bottom. Write each object's name under one part of the table.

Sorting – Show the Skill

Look at the pictures and sort them into 4 groups as given in the table at the bottom. Write each object's name under one part of the table.

Sorting – Warm Up

Which is for men and which for women?

Triple Sorting

You should already be familiar with sorting pictures into categories. It should be easy to see that the pictures are related to baseball (A, B, G, H, J) and football (C, D, E, F, I).

Triple Sorting A Little Help

You want to triple sort the items in these 10 pictures. This means that you must find similarities among smaller and smaller groups of items.

Triple Sorting On Your Own

Triple sort these pictures into categories.

Sorting 3 Characteristics into Venn Diagrams

Sort the shapes into the Venn diagram. The triangles are placed in the left circle and the octagons are placed in the right circle.

Sorting 3 Characteristics into Venn Diagrams A Little Help

Sort the shapes into a 3-category Venn diagram. The Triangles (A, B, C, D) are placed in the left circle, the Big Shapes (B, D, F, H) are placed in the right circle and the Red Shapes (C, D, G, H) are placed in the lower circle.

A Little Help Student Worksheet

Shapes and Venn Diagrams... It's ironic.

On Your Own Student Worksheet

It's all for the shapes.

Sorting 5 Characteristics into Venn Diagrams

You can sort the breeds of dogs in lots of ways. In this example we can sort these dogs in 5 ways: 1) large or small breed; 2) short or long coat; 3) pointed or rounded ears; 4) single color or multi-color; and 5) long nose or short nose.

Sorting 5 Characteristics into Venn Diagrams A Little Help

We will sort the breeds using Venn diagrams.

Sorting 7 Characteristics into Venn Diagrams

You can sort the African animals in lots of ways.

Sorting 7 Characteristics into Venn Diagrams A Little Help

I think a good start is where do they live?

Venn Diagram Worksheet

Mix this whole thing together.

7 Characteristics into Venn Diagrams On Your Own

There are a bunch of ways to get at this, but we suggest: Herbivore, Short Legs, Not in Water, Plain Coat, Antler, or Horns.

Sorting with Two Themes

Draw a red box around the pictures of animals that don't fly and can't live in water.

Sorting with Two Themes - A Little Help

Draw a red box around the picture of things that you play with that are round and are part of a sport.

Sorting with Two Themes - On Your Own

Draw a red box around pictures of foods that you cook and then eat cold.