Literacy 4-6

Systems Change


Word sorts are multisensory activities that help learners identify patterns and group words based on different categories. Learners can sort words based on a variety of similarities, including meaning, sounds, letters, syllable types, and parts of speech.

Use It in the Classroom

Watch how this fifth grade teacher sets up expectations for the word sorts by introducing a sort-map along with multiple sets of labeled cards. She models the activity and walks them through sorting the vocabulary, emphasizing the importance of thinking about the meaning of words.

  • Word sorts can be implemented in multiple ways to build Phonological Processing, Morphological Knowledge, Vocabulary and spelling skills. Teachers can provide the words or have students choose words, and teachers can also do the same with categories: providing them (closed sorts) or having students determine the categories based on the commonalities they observe (open sorts). For increased multisensory learning, teachers can have students cut apart the words as part of the sorting. Lastly, sorts can be done independently or with a partner, promoting Social Awareness & Relationship skills.
  • Design it in Your Product

    Learn how Lexia PowerUp Literacy uses word study as part of its literacy instruction. The word sorts activity supports greater Phonological Processing and Vocabulary development.

  • Product developers can create different types of word sorts that leverage additional interactive features, such as visuals, text-to-speech, drag and drop capabilities, changing colors, and timers.
  • Factors Supported by this Strategy