In this activity students work with vocabulary encountered on the Fish and Physics web resource to demonstrate their understanding of related concepts. This activity can be used as a review prior to an assessment of the content learned. It can also be used to discover student thinking and errors in their thinking. Students work in teams or groups to organize and categorize concepts. 

Teacher Note: This activity is designed around the “Learn About” and “Explore Trends” page of the web resource. This activity is designed to use with groups of students. Allow approximately 15 minutes for students to group their vocabulary words into categories. If the teacher prefers, he/she can assign category titles and have the students organize the vocabulary words into those categories. 

Allow the student an opportunity to take a "gallery walk" if no category headings are assigned to view other groups thinking.




  1. After reading the “Learn About” and “Explore Trends” page and completing the activities associated with those pages, check for student understanding.  
  2. Students should be divided into groups or teams. Each group should be given a set of sort cards that have been laminated and cut into individual cards.  (This allows you to reuse the cards again and again)
  3. Students work in teams to sort the words into categories. The categories can be created by the students, or the teacher can identify categories for student use.  
  4. Once the sorting is complete, the students can take a tour around the room to observe and analyze the work of other groups. One student from each group stays behind at the base table to answer questions.  
  5. Groups return to tables to discuss what was observed and to revise or add new ideas/categories.
  6. Groups use the generated ideas and categories as a basis of further study or discussion.

National Science Education Standards

9-12 A: Science as Inquiry

9-12 B: Physical Science

9-12 C: Life Science

9-12 E: Science and Technology

9-12 F: Science in Personal and Social Perspectives

9-12 G: History and Nature of Science

Lesson Resources

word icon Sort Card Activity