17 Strategies to Help Students Improve Their Ability to Classify People, Places, Things, etc.

Are you looking for strategies to help students improve their classifications skills? If so, keep reading.

1. Make sure the learner knows that all objects, people, ideas, actions, etc., can be grouped based on how they are alike. Give the learner concrete examples.

2. Provide the learner pairs of objects and have the learner name all the ways in which they are alike and then the ways in which they are different. Proceed from simple things that can be seen and touched to more abstract ideas that cannot be seen or touched.

3. Explain that each new word that is learned is an example of some category. On occasions where defining a word, it should first be put into a category (e.g., a hammer is a tool, anger is an emotion, etc.).

4. Show a sequence of objects and have the learner create a category into which they fit.

5. Show a sequence of objects and have the learner tell which ones do not belong in the same category as the others.

6. Provide the learner a list of words or images and have them find the categories to which they belong. (Love and hate are both emotions. Love fits into a specific category of excellent feelings, and hate fits into a specific category of bad or unhappy feelings.)

7. Explain that words can be categorized according to various attributes, such as size, function, texture, etc.

8. Ask the learner to help make lists of some categories that fit inside bigger categories (e.g., bushes, flowers, and trees are all categories that can be included in the plant category).

9. Provide a category or group and ask the learner to find as many things as possible that belong in the category. Begin with big categories (e.g., living things) and move to smaller categories (e.g., living things that are green).

10. Organize a game such as “I’m thinking of an object” in which an object is described, and the learner must guess the object based on questions they have asked.

11. Recommend that parents ask for the learner’s help when grocery shopping by having them make a list of things needed in a particular food group (e.g., dairy products, meats, etc.).

12. Get the learner to cut out images for a notebook of favorite foods, television shows, or other categories. The learner can then group the images into accurate categories.

13. Utilize images, diagrams, the smartboard, and gestures when delivering information orally.

14. Provide the learner specific categories and have them name as many things as possible within the categories (e.g., objects, persons, places, etc.).

15. Provide the learner a word and ask the learner to list as many words as possible that have similar meanings (i.e., synonyms).

16. Make the curriculum important to the learner (e.g., explain the purpose of a task, relate the curriculum to the learner’s environment, etc.).

17. Separate at several points during the presentation of information to check the learner’s comprehension.

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