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Attribute Maps

by Early Math Counts

Attribute Map 1

These attribute maps are pretty great-  but you certainly don’t have to buy them.  With a white piece of paper, a ruler and a marker, you can make them on your own.

These store-bought maps have the words “Science Sort”at the top which I find interesting.  Shouldn’t it just say “Sort” so children can sort all sorts of things? Anyway- on the day I observed this activity, the children were sorting  small cards (maybe from a matching game?) into 3 categories; Air, Land and Water.  The pictures had all sorts of wildlife (fish, game, birds) on them as well as other objects that were less obvious.  In the second picture you can see the child has sorted the planet into the “Air” category (because planets are found in the “air”).  At first, the child sorted the picture of the watermelon under the “water” category.  Why do you think this is?

Attribute Map 2

I asked him whether watermelons are found in the water or in your house or the grocery store?  Once I asked that, he moved the picture of the watermelon over to the “Land” category.  Why was he confused?

Remember, an attribute is a characteristic.  This sorting map is a good way for children to consider one characteristic at a time and sort using those criteria.

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