Beacon Lesson Plan Library

University Sort!

Lore Davis
Alachua County Schools


This is a small group activity in which students sort and classify Gator and Seminole pasta by a variety of characteristics.


The student knows that objects have many different observable properties:-color-shapes (circle, triangle, square)-forms (flexible, stiff, straight, and curved)-textures (rough, smooth, hard, soft)-sizes and weights (big, little, large, small, heavy, light, wide, thin, long, short)-positions and speeds (over, under, in, out, above, below, left, right, fast, slow)


-One 16 ounce bag of Gator pasta (Other team pasta may be substituted if Gator and/or Seminole pasta is not available.)
-One 16 ounce bag of Seminole pasta
-7 bowls filled with 20 pieces of Gator pasta
-7 bowls filled with 20 pieces of Seminole pasta
-7 bowls filled with a mixture of 20 pieces of Gator and Seminole pasta
-7 sorting trays
-Charted traditional Gator chant on chart paper
Here we go, Gators,
Here we go,
Here we go, Gators,
Here we go,
Here we go, Gators,
Here we go.
Come on, Gators,
Get up and go!


1. Purchase pasta from Walmart, Target, or K-Mart.
2. Gather all items from materials list.
3. Chart Gator chant on chart paper.


1. Teach students the traditional University of Florida Gator chant. Point to the words as they are read from the chart.

2. Ask students who their favorite football team is. Give all students an opportunity to tell about their favorite team.

3. Tell students that today they will be sorting pasta shaped like gators, footballs, and Seminole Indians.

4. Pour a bowl of gator pasta out on the table. Have students look at the pasta and think of ways it can be sorted or grouped. It could be sorted by color (green or tan), shape (gator or football) and by whole pieces and broken pieces. Have one child pick a way to sort the pasta and begin by sorting by one characteristic.

5. Have another child sort the pasta in a different way. After each sort, discuss how the pasta was sorted, how many of each kind there was, and which group is more, less or equal.

6. Have students work independently to choose a bowl of pasta of their choice (Gator, Seminole, mixed batch) to sort and classify into sorting trays. Observe, monitor and provide corrective feedback as students sort their pasta. 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.

7. The students will return to the small group to share some of the ways they sorted their pasta.


The student will demonstrate his/her knowledge of sorting and classifying by using at least 2 characteristics (footballs, Gators, Seminoles, colors) to sort pasta. The student dictates or writes with pictures about how he/she sorts and classifies the pasta. Teacher would use a cheklist to assess students ability to sort materials and manage information.


1. Science - Read fact books about real alligators and/or Seminoles.
2. Cooking/Math - Have students practice measurement as they make spaghetti sauce and cook Gator or Seminole pasta and have sauce over pasta.
3. Math - Have students sort and classify reptile counters.
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