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Goodie Bags

Alignments to Content Standards: K.MD.B.3


Compare 3 quantities and order them from least to greatest.


  • 5-6 baggies of various items. Each baggie should contain one type of item in three different sizes, colors, or shapes. For example, a bag that contains 5 red buttons, 6 blue buttons, and 7 green buttons.
  • 3 small bowls, or a piece of construction paper cut into thirds


This activity is done in partners who can help support each other. Each pair of students should be in a small group of 6 or 8 so all students can share baggies.


Together, the partners sort the contents of one of the baggies. After the sorting is finished, the partners count each group of items. They then arrange each group in order from least to most.


After the items have been arranged, they are put back into the baggie and the students get another baggie and repeat the process.

IM Commentary

The purpose of this task is for students to order and compare quantities of objects. This activity also aids in sorting abilities. The teacher can prompt students by saying “sort by shape” or “sort by color.” This helps the students develop vocabulary to explain how they sorted. As the students get proficient with small numbers of items, the teacher can increase the numbers up to 20. After this activity has been done at least twice, the students can represent their items by drawing them on a sheet of paper. This activity can become a daily 10 minute routine, with the students sorting a bag of goodies sometime during the day.

An extension of this task would be to have objects that students can sort according to different characteristics. For example, the buttons can have different colors, different shapes, and different numbers of holes, and students can be asked to sort by any of these characteristics or to chose a characteristic to sort by.


The students sort the objects into categories.

The students count the number in each category.

The students order the groups of objects from least to most.

The students practice using the words “least” and “most”.