How can we sort cubes that are all the same size?
1. Ask the question
Make a connection between the last investigation and today’s work. Put a set of material cubes where all students can see them. Remind students that they described the cubes’ materials and made a list of ways in which those materials are alike and different.
Refer to the table students developed in the previous session. Today they will work with the same cubes. Introduce the investigation question,
Discuss the issue that is embedded within this question: grouping objects by size is one obvious way to sort, but when all of the objects are the same size, one needs to discover other ways to sort them.
Do students need a reminder about what it means to sort things into groups? If a demonstration seems helpful, sort a small set of classroom objects by size, a property that does not apply to the cubes. Once everyone is clear about the process, tell students they will work in small groups. Each group will have its own set of eight cubes, and each group should try to find at least three different ways to sort their set of cubes. Students should record their findings in their science notebooks, on the page titled, How can we sort cubes that are all the same size?