Literacy PK-3

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 first grade teacher uses word sorts in her small group lesson to practice Phonological Awareness and Decoding skills. As an open sort, students have the opportunity to identify patterns themselves and explain their reasoning.

  • 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

    Watch two clips, one starting at 0:15 and the other at 1:13, to see how Lexia Reading Core5 integrates word sorts to build Alphabet Knowledge and Sight Recognition.

  • 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