## Not enough drawers

This problem solving activity has a statistics focus.

## About this resource

Specific learning outcomes:

- Describe three different categories to sort clothes into.
- Sort clothes into three chosen categories.

# Not enough drawers

## Achievement objectives

S1-1: Conduct investigations using the statistical enquiry cycle: posing and answering questions; gathering, sorting and counting, and displaying category data; discussing the results.

## Description of mathematics

This problem is about being able to sort everyday objects into categories. The students need to think of what features the clothes have in common and what features make them different. They need to sort the clothes into three sets so that all three drawers have something in them. The students need to decide on the categories themselves and be able to explain why each piece of clothing does or does not belong in it. Key words that are used here are: same, different, set or groups.

Being able to find common properties of objects, and being able to describe these properties, are important skills in mathematics and statistics.

## Required materials

- scissors and glue
- pictures of clothes and a set of drawers (hard copy or digital - e.g., on PowerPoint). A teacher copy is needed as well as a copy for each student (or student grouping).

See **Materials that come with this resource** to download:

*Not enough drawers CM - English*(.pdf)*Turanga kakahua CM - te reo Māori*(.pdf)

## Activity

I have socks, shorts, singlets, trousers, jumpers, track pants, t-shirts, gloves, scarves, pants, and a jacket. But I only have 3 drawers to keep them in.

- How can I decide what group of clothes to keep in each drawer?
- How many different ways could I decide on?

**1.**

Start the class by talking about the clothes the students are wearing.

- How many different types of clothing are we wearing?
- Who decides what you wear?
- What other clothes do you wear every day?

Are there any clothes that you wear for special situations? (e.g., raincoats, piupiu)

**2.**

Read the problem to the class.

- Where do you keep your clothes?
- Do you have special drawers for different types of clothes?

**3.**

Show the students the pictures of the clothes. Use blue tack to stick them to the board (if hard copy).

- How can we sort these clothes?
- What is different about these clothes?
- What is the same about these clothes?
- Can we make three different sets of clothes?

**4.**

Following the suggestions of the students, move the pictures into groups on the board so the students can see.

- Should socks go into this group? Why or why not?

**5.**

Show students the sheet with the three drawers on it. Explain they have to decide on three different sets of clothes to go into each drawer. They should look at what is similar and different about the different items of clothing.

**6.**

Let the students cut out the pictures and glue the clothing pictures into the drawers (or select and drag them if working with a digital representation). As they work, ask them:

- What type of clothes belong in this drawer?
- How do you know if they belong?
- What is the same about all these clothes?
- What is different about these clothes?

**7.**

Bring the class back together. Have students show their completed drawers to the each other and explain how they sorted them.

### Extension

Change the number of drawers, or add a cupboard. The solutions will be dependent on the numbers used. Let the students think which drawer the clothes they are wearing would fit into.

Students need to be allowed to decide on their own categories. They must be able to give the reasons why each piece of clothing either belongs or doesn’t belong in the drawer.

Some categories of clothes that are put into different drawers might be: Winter clothes, underwear, and long/short sleeves, or summer clothes, bottoms, and tops.

**The quality of images on this page may vary depending on the device you are using.**