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Lesson Plan

Book Sorting: Using Observation and Comprehension to Categorize Books

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Book Sorting: Using Observation and Comprehension to Categorize Books

Grades K – 2
Lesson Plan Type Standard Lesson
Estimated Time Two 30-minute sessions
Lesson Author

Renee Goularte

Renee Goularte

Magalia, California


National Council of Teachers of English


Materials and Technology

Student Interactives





  • A variety of fiction and nonfiction books from the classroom library

  • Unlined paper and writing materials

  • Internet access for supplementary and follow-up activities

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Venn Diagram

Grades   K – 12  |  Student Interactive  |  Organizing & Summarizing

Venn Diagram

This interactive tool allows students to create Venn diagrams that contain two or three overlapping circles, enabling them to organize their information logically.


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There are really no "wrong answers" in Book Sorting, though it is important that students justify their sorting choices. Some things to look for as students sort:

  • Are they sorting largely by illustration, or are they considering book topics and content?

  • When sorting by illustration, are they looking at lower-order criteria, such as color, size and shape, or are they looking at more critical details of the illustrations?

  • Are they making inferential sorting choices?

  • Are students spontaneously recognizing that some books will fit into more than one category?

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