Word Sort Learning Strategies

Word Sorts are vocabulary strategies in which students categorize the new words. In a Closed Word Sort, the categories are provided; in an Open Word Sort, students sort the words into any categories that make sense to them, encouraging creativity and critical thinking. This activity should be done in pairs, so that the students think out loud and communicate their thinking to each other.

1. Prepare enough small sets of the vocabulary word flash cards for each pair of students (or have students prepare them).

2. Partners sort the words into the defined categories (Closed Word Sort), or into any categories they want (Open Word Sort).

3. When they have finished, have each pair of students report to the class about their categories as you list them on the board.