Seriation Skills can be defined as “the ability to arrange objects in order by size”. The development of seriation skills is a step-by-step developmental process. As children grow and develop, their ability to seriate will also develop. For instance, a very young child (two years old) may not be able to seriate at all. The concepts of “small, smaller, smallest” and “large, larger, largest” probably will not mean much to such a young child. However, an older child (four years old) may be capable of seriating three or four objects quite easily. Just like any other skill, the ability to seriate will develop with each individual child at his/her own rate.
Seriation skills are important for a number of reasons:
• First, seriation skills are often related to more complex math concepts, such as ordination or placing numbers in the correct order (for example, 1, 2, 3).
• Furthermore, well-developed seriation skills also help to develop higher-order thinking and problem-solving skills. In other words, in order to arrange three blocks in order from the smallest to the largest, the children must first be able to analyze the situation and then develop a solution.
There are many different types of activities and materials that are designed to help the children develop seriation skills. The following are just a few examples:
Activity 1: For two to three years old
Show the children three boxes and talk with them about the size of each one. Next, place the boxes on the table in front of the children. Ask, “Can you show me the small box?”. Next, ask, “Can you show me the medium-size box?”. Finally, ask, “Can you show me the biggest box?”. If you feel your children are ready, have them help you place the boxes in order from the smallest to the largest.
Activity 2: Shoe Sort
To play this game, you will need a baby shoe, a small woman’s shoe, and a large man’s shoe. Show the children the three shoes. Have them arrange the shoes from the smallest to the largest or the largest to the smallest. This activity can also be done with other clothing, such as shirts or pants.
Activity 3: What will fit?
Provide assortment clothing in various sizes, such as baby socks, child-sized socks, grown-up pants, and a large vest. The children may explore the items to see which ones fit. Encourage the children to share their discoveries.
• Which one fits the best?
• Which is too large? Too small?
• Who might wear that size?, etc.
2002 HighReach, learning, Inc.