Venn Diagrams for Children – Leaves
We will be looking at how to use and make Venn Diagrams for children. Once children have had some experience sorting and classifying objects based on one variable (such as colour, age, etc.), they can go on to sort with more variables that have ‘overlapping’ features. Venn Diagrams are one great way to visually represent data where two sets have something in common. They’re a great way for children to show similarities and differences in an organised way.
The most simple way is for children to sort leaves based on one variable or feature, such as colour. For example, in one hoop they place yellow leaves and in the other they place red ones. For any leaves that are both red and yellow, these leaves would be placed in the area in the area where the two hoops overlap.
Children can also sort leaves based on two different features such as the edging of the leaf (ex. serrated) and colour (ex. yellow). Leaves that are not in either group stay on the outside of the hoops. This can help children begin to tune into the similarities and differences between different leaves. They may begin to notice things that all leaves have in common such as veins. It helps them to closely examine leaves, comparing and contrasting a range of different features.
What you need – Venn Diagrams for Children
- Sorting hoops, hula hoops or the equivalent
- Lots of different leaves
Questions to ask
- What colour is it? What type of leaf is it? Is it evergreen? etc.
- Could the leaf go in this hoop? Why or why not?
- Could the leaf go in the other hoop as well? Why or why not?
- Do the leaves have anything in common / things that are the same?
- Do you notice any differences?
What they get from making Venn Diagrams
This is a great way for children to be able to show and understand data visually. They can compare variables and also show how variables overlap. This can also support and lead to the development of the language of logic. This can include vocabulary such as not, both, all, some, etc. as well as “characteristic language patterns of logical arguments” (Haylock & Cockburn, 2017). Sorting leaves with venn diagrams is also a great way to get them to closely examine their features. It can help them to see the common features as well as the many differences between different species.
Take it further
Children need practice with lots of different forms of data handling. Children can move on to create frequency tables, carroll diagrams, pictographs (see my post), and eventually bar charts.
Haylock, D., & Cockburn, A. (2017). Understanding mathematics for young children (5th ed.). London: Sage Publications.