Literacy 7-12

Systems Change


Word sorts are multisensory activities that help learners identify patterns and group words based on different categories while promoting Vocabulary development. Learners can sort words based on a variety of similarities, including meaning, prefixes, and suffixes. This helps students make justifications and supports higher order thinking, and they can be done independently or with a partner.

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.

  • Teachers can use word sorts to introduce a new unit or topic by giving students associated Vocabulary words and having them try to categorize them. 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).
  • 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