Beacon Lesson Plan Library

Button Bonanza

Lore Davis
Alachua County Schools


This is a small group activity in which students sort, classify, and write about how they sort buttons.


The student identifies simple patterns of sounds, physical movements, and concrete objects.


-The book [The Button Box]. Reid, Margarette S.E.P. Dutton, 1990.
-Four 9 by 6 inch sheets of construction paper for each child
-One 9 by 6 inch sheet of construction paper for instruction
-6 containers filled with 20 buttons
-6 packages of crayons
-6 pencils


Gather materials needed from material section.
-The book [The Button Box]. Reid, Margarette S.E.P. Dutton, 1990.
-Four 9 by 6 inch sheets of construction paper for each child
-One 9 by 6 inch sheet of construction paper for instruction
-6 containers filled with 20 buttons
-6 packages of crayons
-6 pencils


**This lesson will focus on sorting and classifying buttons by using at least 3 characteristics (kind, color, size, shape).

1. Ask students to stand in front of the class if they have buttons on their clothes. Have the rest of the students remain seated. Have students count how many have buttons and how many do not. Talk about which group has more or less. Have those students sit down.

2. Have the students who have round buttons on stand together. Have students who have square buttons stand together. Have students could how many students are in each group.

3. Ask students whether they've ever sorted or grouped buttons in different ways. Tell them that today you will be reading them a book about someone who has a special collection of buttons and sorts or groups them in several ways. Read the book [The Button Box] to the students.

4. Tell students that they will now have a chance to sort buttons in a variety of ways and will be writing about how the buttons were sorted or grouped.

5. After reading the story and discussing the ways the buttons in the book were sorted, have a small group of 4-6 students sit at a table or on the floor with you. Pour a bowl of buttons out on the table in front of the students. Ask the students to look at the buttons and think of how they can sort or group them. Give students a minute to think about ways to sort the buttons.

6. Ask one student to tell you one way the buttons could be sorted or grouped. Have the student start the sort (Example: The student might say to sort by kind of button like plastic or metal). That student might place all of the plastic buttons on a piece of construction paper. Ask another student to choose another type of button like metal buttons and place all of the metal buttons on another piece of construction paper. Have the students count to see how many of each kind of button there is. Continue having students sort until all of the buttons have been sorted. Tell the students that they have just sorted or grouped the buttons by kind of material it is made of.

7. Ask students for another way to sort the buttons. Students might say to sort by color, shape, or texture. Follow the same procedures used for sorting by kind of button.

8. Write about how the students sorted the last group of buttons on construction paper. Do this by drawing the number of buttons in each group and writing about how each group was sorted (Example: I sorted my buttons by plastic buttons and metal buttons). This could be done on one piece of paper, which has been divided into sections or could be done on separate pieces of paper.

9. Tell students that they will now sort or group their own container of buttons. Give each student a container buttons and 4 pieces of construction paper to use in sorting their buttons. Students will work independently to sort the buttons. Observe, monitor and provide feedback as students sort their vehicles. Give suggestions or ask other students to give suggestions of other ways to sort, if a child can't think of alternative ways to sort. Have students demonstrate their understanding by explaining how they sorted.

10. Have students use pieces of construction paper to write about one way they sorted their buttons. Most kindergarteners will use pictures as their writing and will tell you about the way they classified. Some might label their pictures with one or two letters. Most will not be able to write a sentence. You may write as the student dictates.

11. The students will return to the small group to share the writing, explaining one way he/she sorted and classified the vehicles after each student has finished the activity.


The student demonstrates his/her knowledge of sorting and classifying by using at least 3 characteristics (kind, color, size, shape) to sort buttons.
The student dictates or writes with pictures or words about how he/she sorts and classifies buttons. Teacher would use a cheklist to assess students ability to sort materials and manage information.


1. Math - Read the book [Circles, Triangles and Squares]. Hoban, Tana. Simon & Schuster, 1974. Next, have students sort attrilinks by color, size or shape. Attrilinks are currently available through many teacher catalogs. If attrilinks are now available, attribute blocks could be used.
2. Language - Read a rhyming book. Sort rhyming words by listing them on chart paper after asking students which words rhyme in the book. An example would be to list the words that rhyme with cat (hat, sat, pat), etc.
3. Science - During a small group activity have students try a variety of objects to see if they will sink or float. The objects could then be sorted by things that sink or float.
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