Unit 2: Days 15-16 Sorting


They really did not get the point of different sorting methods, how some are faster than others and you need to sort in order to be able to use the Binary Search.

-Watched 5 short videos on Bubble, Insertion, Merge, Quick, Selection Sorts
(paused through videos making sure they could guess next step, summarized)
-Students filled in a notes guide as we went a long, putting each in their own words
-Warm-Up: Choose one sort from the 5 yesterday that you think would be best to sort the class shortest to tallest
-Hands on activity:
5 plastic bags for each sorting algorithm, each bag contains- Written and visual directions for that specific sort, 16 cards in random order, sticky notes for tallies, pen
-Assessment (Forms)- Complexity, difference between sorts, binary & linear searches

More on the hands on activity: I split the class into 5 groups (I picked), the leaders demonstrated the sort the first round and had the next person try and keep a tally of how many swaps or comparisons were made. This allows students that take a little longer to process what to do more time in order for them to successfully do it. I enjoyed that each group got to do a different sort and every member of the group was engaged with something to do. They were able to understand sorting with a hands on activity and see the differences between the sorts… which ones take longer and are more tedious and which ones took less time.

Additional Resources
-Videos for 5 Sorts
-Notes Guide (Google Form) explaining how sorts work and what complexity they are
-Printed off template and cut random numbers for the 5 sorts
-Review Kahoots (2) Kahoot 1 Kahoot 2
-Assessment (Google Form) Sort & Search Quiz


@penelope_spanos Thanks for sharing the fun activities you used to teach students about sorting. I know my students love playing Kahoot. I’ll definitely try out your games if that’s ok.


Can you please share your quiz in a word doc? I am not able to access it because I’m not in your district. Thanks!



One weakness on the lightest to heaviest activity is that it is limited. I supplement this activity with another sorting activity. My students struggle with the why do they need to do this. One important aspect is that you get different “answers” or results based on different sorts. How you sort something will lead to different ways of interpreting data or other information.

I use a read aloud book called “The Art of Clean Up”. This book has pictures of all different situations where things are sorted in unique ways. One example, has a pine tree is sorted by needles, branches, and trunk. Another shows cars in a parking lot sorted by color. My point in using this book is to have the students think in different ways about how they choose to sort objects. I finish this activity by giving my students very random objects and asking them to sort them in at least 5 different ways. This way they need to really stretch and thing about how they can sort different objects in completely different ways.



Thanks for sharing the idea of reading aloud the book, “The Art of Clean Up.” I’ve never heard of the book, however, it sounds like a great tie in for students and a way to make sorting more meaningful to them in their everyday life.