FP / KS 1 2×2 Sorting grid


To introduce the idea of sorting data using two variables and explore the concept of AND and NOT

Most Foundation Phase teachers will be used to teaching opposites and using simple sorting activities such as grouping cards or materials into natural / manmade or rough / smooth or hard /soft etc.

1 Draw a 2×2 matrix on the playground with chalk. Depending on the environment, mark up the axes of the matrix with pairs of variables but introduce the idea of ‘NOT’ so that the axes are marked ‘Hard’ / ‘Not hard’ or ‘Long’ / ‘Not long’ or Smooth /Not smooth etc.  Explain that this is how computers need to work. You could use ‘Light/Dark’ or “Light / Heavy” to explain how computers could get confused.

Children need to find objects (leaves, stones, twigs etc) and place them in the appropriate sector.

If you have to play this in a class room you could collect a bag of things ready for sorting

2 Draw another 2×2 matrix on the playground with chalk – this time it needs to be large enough to accommodate all the children in the class in one quadrant (although a bit of squashing adds to the fun)

Ask the children to sort themselves according to the cells on the matrix.  So you could have girl / boy, brown eyes /blue eyes, fair hair / dark hair etc.  We found it easier to explain to start with by just using one pair (e.g boy/girl) then when they are on the correct side of the axis, add the second variable.  Once they have got the hang of it, as with the previous example, change to Brown eyes / Not brown eyes or Girl / Not girl  etc


jen hughes

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