teaching resource

Subitising Aquarium – Sorting Activity

Teach Starter Publishing
Google Slide, PDF | 27 pages | Years: F

Practise recognising the quantity of a small group of objects with this subitising sorting activity.

🐠 Splash Into Subitising With a Sorting Activity!

Are your students O-FISH-ALLY learning how to subitise numbers? Subitising is an important foundational skill for early primary students. When students subitise numbers, they are able to determine the number of objects without counting them one at a time. Students may recognize a group of 3 objects and another group of 2 objects and group them together to determine that there are 5 objects. The resource gives students the opportunity to practice their subitising skills with a sorting activity.  

To play:

  1. Set out the fish bowl number cards on the table or floor. 
  2. Place the subitising fish cards in a stack.
  3. Students take turns choosing a fish card, subtising the objects and placing it with the appropriate number card. 

Through this activity, students will show they can use visual clustering skills to quickly recognise up to a group of 20 objects.

Tips for Differentiation + Scaffolding 

A team of dedicated, experienced educators created this resource to support your maths lessons.

In addition to individual student work time, use this subitising activity to enhance learning through guided maths groups or as a partner activity.

If you have a mixture of above and below-level learners, check out these suggestions for keeping students on track with the concepts: 

🆘 Support Struggling Students

Help students understanding the concepts by limiting the activity to include numbers under 10. Once students are able to subitise smaller collections, introduce cards with larger numbers.

➕ Challenge Fast Finishers

For students who need a bit of a challenge, encourage them to write a number that is 1 more or 1 less than a given number. They could also create their own layouts for subitising numbers to 20.

Easily Prepare This Resource for Your Students

Use the dropdown icon on the Download button to choose between the PDF or editable Google Slides version of this resource. 

Print on cardboard for added durability and longevity. Place all pieces in a folder or large envelope for easy access. 


This resource was created by Nicole Ellis, a Teach Starter Collaborator. 

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