My daughter has a game named The Four Seasons. It is a game with four worksheets representing each season and 40 cards representing different elements / activities specific to each season. The one who succed in filling the worksheets first with ten of the suitable cards wins the game. (You can not see the cards, you pick them up when it's your turn. If you chose one that is not suitable you put it with the face down).

I thought of changing the rules of the game and try to do some sorting with my daughter. We used only the cards. I asked Teona to sort them using any criteria except the one related to season.

It was hard at the beginning because she had the intention to arrange them by season but she quickly changed them. It was naturally because she is used with the rules of the initial game. It was really extraordinary to watch her thinking, sorting in a way and then changing her mind.

Her first sorting looked like this:

flowers (poppy, daffodil etc)

plants (without flowers)

sun + grain

water sports

winter sports + ropeway

hunter + tractor + house + snowman

dry leaf + rain + branch of a tree



a boat (separated, alone)

I asked her : "If there is something that you would change, what would be?"

She had done some changes. Her second sorting looked like this:

Flowers still separated from the plants. she put grain to plants class.

Water sports still separated from winter sports. But she took away the ropeway.

rain + sun

hunter + house (she explained "he is the only one living in a house")

tractor + boat + ropeway (they are means of conveyance, she said)

snowman (separated, alone)


dry leaf + a branch of a tree

My question is, do I have to correct something or I just let her explain why the sorting looks like this?

18 Jul 2013, 01:02
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glad to hear that! you are always welcome:)
Simona, I like that you are adapting the games your daughter has and enjoys playing. It's very much in line with the PASS approach.
Re correcting. It'd be a good idea to get your daughter to see different ways of grouping and start thinking if one can be better than the other. At the same time, it's very important that she doesn't lose motivation. Therefore I would suggest thinking about 'correction' as part of the game. For example, you can play school where different toys offer their classifications to the teacher. Then the teacher chooses the one and asks all the students (toys) why this or that classification was chosen. School here is just an example. It can be any game that is attractive to your daughter, where there's context for comparing classifications.
Renata, your comments are helpful. Thank you! :-)
Simona, it's really interesting to read about your experience. And looks like there was no more questions from your daughter to you regarding why you are asking her these strange questions, which is a progress:)
Regarding the sorting task. I would say that since this was your first experience with this type of task, it is ok to try it this way and see how your child reacts. Since Teona was positive about the task, the next step is to move to a more-thinking way. As far as I see it, when playing sorting, it is important you control that the classification is done correctly - all the cards are sorted in groups according to one parameter (e.g. Number of colours - cards having 1 colour only, 2 and 3). In your case, Teona did classification according to different parameters (e.g. tractor + boat + ropeway - go together because of parameter 1 (conveyance) but snowman according to parameter 2.) So I am not sure this was a 'correct' sorting. I'd say, you could have given her 10 or maybe even less cards only (for instance only flowers) and say that all these flowers should now travel to some destination but there are only 2 cars so they should divide themselves in 2 groups proving that they are making the group A (which is different from group B). For instance, there might be a group of 'wild' plants and home plants, so the parameter of the division is one.
So my answer to your question will be - you should definitely ask your child to explain the reason behind sorting but at the same time, you can ask questions helping her to see that her classification is wrong so she should look for other parameters to sort. Your task is also to keep the challenge. If Teona finds it easy to sort the cards in 2 groups, ask her either to look for another way to sort or add number of groups - cards should be divided in 3 groups.
Hope my comments are helpful.