Venn Diagrams – A Fun Math Lesson

June 24, 2009

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Venn diagrams sound like a fancy and difficult math concept, but instead they make a great math activity for toddlers and up:

  1. Grab a handful of candy, colorful cereal, a set of toys, or anything else you can think of that can be classified into groups.
  2. Make two circles with shoelaces, cut-out from card stock, chalk on the sidewalk, etc.
  3. Have your child start describing characteristics of your set:  colors, sizes, shapes, number of legs, clothing, etc.  Pick two.  Then start sorting them into the appropriate circles, with items that have BOTH characteristics in the middle where the two circles intersect.

Here are a few examples:

  • Colors:  Blue candy in the left circle, red candy in the right circle, purple candy (it is BOTH red and blue) in the center where the circles intersect.
  • Shapes:  Shapes with straight lines in the left circle, shapes with curved lines in the right, a shape like a heart that has both in the center.
  • Toy animal:  Animals with hooves in the left circle, animals with tails in the right, and animals with both hooves and tails in the center.

More fun ideas:

  • Eat the ones in the middle when you’re done.
  • Close your eyes and the other person moves one item to the wrong section – see if you can figure it out.
  • Sort without telling the other the criteria and see if they can guess your sorting rules.
  • Add a third circle to make it more tricky.


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Posted under Homeschool Activities, Math Curriculum

1 Comment »

1 Comment so far

  1. Meaghan July 4, 2009 4:20 pm

    Thanks for the idea!

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