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Jan 12, 2012

Gobs of Gadgets:graphing and sorting

Find new uses for everyday items
  • small gadgets such as switches, screws, washers, coils, paper clips, and classroom gadgets, etc.
  • egg carton
  • markers
  • chart paper
  • paper bag
Children will sort and classify gadgets according to a variety of attributes.
In Advance
Put a large variety of gadgets into a bag. Check each one for safety (only do this with age 5 and up).
Gather children and discuss what a gadget is. Ask children to brainstorm all the gadgets they see that are familiar to them. Make of list of these items. Discuss which gadgets children use and how they can use them.
1. Ask children to brainstorm a list of gadgets found on machines or appliances. Talk about why they are important and necessary in order for the machine to operate.
2. Place a mystery bag on the table filled with gadgets and invite children to shake the bag and guess what they think is inside. Suggest they reach in and grab a gadget. 
3. Empty the contents of bag onto the table and ask children to name the items then ask children to sort them into muffin tins or egg cartons. Then ask what other ways we can sort them.
4. Lastly, examine sorted gadgets then make a graph based on children's observations and classifications.
How did children sort the gadgets? What vocabulary words do they use to describe the qualities of the gadgets?
  • Craft Book for Children by Rosemary Edwards (Words Aflame Press) 
  • Crafts from Recyclables by Colleen Van (Boyds Mills Press) 
  • Gizmos and Gadgets by Phil Baron (Alchemy Communications Group) 
A reused Chipotle bag

Egg carton filled with allen wrench, push pin, paper clips, eyelet paper holders, screws, etc.

 Various tools we use with these objects.
Jr. loved hearing the jingle of the stuff in the bag

And even peeked a little to make sure he got what he wanted.
At the end we counted the number of gadgets in each category then graphed them out on paper with markers. Jr. was surprised at the number of screws he picket out of the bag. Boys are really fun to do this activity with because they are so curious about things and how they work. I'm sure I'll enjoy doing this activity with the younger two kids in the future.

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