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Venn Diagrams

January 5, 2022

Environmental Print

  • Use Graphic Tools (Venn Diagrams, Bar Graphs, Charting, etc.) to compare and contrast.

Vocabulary & Concepts

  • Attribute, category, same, different, one or the other, both, set, subset, either, neither, (not one or the other), unique, distinct, special

Building Blocks Math(Week 12):  Vocabulary & Concepts

  • sort and classify small groups 
  • compare small amounts
  • recognize numerals and the quantities they represent
  • continue to explore shapes
Two overlapping hoops and a basket of shapes to sort and classify

Venn Diagrams are often introduced using attribute blocks.  Yet, they are a wonderful visual tool that can be used across curricular domains.  They provide children with opportunities to attend to multiple characteristics, sort and classify, compare groupings, count quantities, analyze data, and infer meaning.  When using a Venn Diagram:

  1. Use hoola hoops, grouping circles, or large chart paper to create a Venn Diagram 
  2. Use pictures, symbols and words to define the two attributes/characteristic to be considered (post-its work well)
  3. If there is a need for a “neither” category – use a special basket or container placed to the side.**
  4. Provide an explicit presentation and modeling of how to sort by the defined attributes. 
  5. Give children concrete items, images, or name cards to sort
  6. Support children as they place items into the Venn Diagram
  7. Check with children about possible errors and support problem solving for accurate sorting.
  8. Interpret the information by asking, “What do you notice about our information/data?”
  9. Facilitate interpretive conversation – by counting the items in each category, by lifting one hoop at a time to set a whole set (and then the subset that lives in “both”).  Ask children, “What meaning can we make from this chart?” 
Two overlapping hoops with insects sorting by legs and wings
One hoop with insects with legs outside and insects with wings inside
One hoop with insects with legs inside and no insects with wings outside

** Having a “neither” category can sometimes be hard for children emotionally. They might interpret this as ‘not having a place’ or ‘not belonging’. Therefore, it is best to begin Venn Diagrams with every child having a piece that belongs inside the diagram.  Intentionally introduce the “neither” category later. Be sure to make this a special category by using a special container and introducing special vocabulary, such as – unique, special, distinct. 

Use Venn Diagrams throughout the year to compare and contrast and discuss similarities and differences. Possibilities:

  • Sort self –portraits of photos
    • likes fruit + likes pizza
    • 10 toes + brown hair
    • has a brother + has a pet
  • Sort letters – straight line + curved lines
  • Sort animals  – fur + 4 legs
  • Shapes – 4 sides + equal side
Two overlapping hoops with two different versions of gingerbread stories being compared using sticky notes
Compare storybooks – having children describe similarities and differences 

Year-Long Trajectory

The Year-Long Trajectory is your scope and sequence for learning experiences across the year.

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