teaching resource

Subitizing Sorting Activity

Teach Starter Publishing
Google Slide, PDF | 27 pages | Grades: K - 1

Practice recognizing the quantity of a small group of objects with this subitizing sorting activity.

🐠 Splash Into Subitizing With a Sorting Activity!

Are your students O-FISH-ALLY learning how to subitize numbers? Subitizing is an important foundational skill for early primary students. When students subitize 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 subitizing skills with a sorting activity.  

To play:

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

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

Tips for Differentiation + Scaffolding 

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

In addition to individual student work time, use this subitizing activity to enhance learning through guided math 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 who need help understanding the concepts by limiting the activity to include numbers under 10. Once students are able to subitize 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.

Plan lessons for all ability levels with our 10 Best Scaffolding Strategies! 

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 cardstock 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 teacher in New York and Teach Starter Collaborator. 

Don’t stop there! We’ve got more activities and resources that cut down on lesson planning time:  

Image of Subitizing Slap It!

teaching resource

Subitizing Slap It!

Help students strengthen subitizing skills with this multiplayer math card game!

Teach Starter Publishing1 pageGrades: K - 1
Image of Subitizing Dice - Numbers 1 to 9

teaching resource

Subitizing Dice - Numbers 1 to 9

Subitizing is the process of immediately recognizing how many items are in a small group.

Teach Starter Publishing9 pagesGrades: PK - 2
Image of Cover Up! - Subitizing Numbers Game

teaching resource

Cover Up! - Subitizing Numbers Game

Help students instantly recognize numbers 1-6 with this multiplayer Valentine’s Day board game. 

Teach Starter Publishing2 pagesGrades: PK - 1


Write a review to help other teachers and parents like yourself. If you'd like to request a change to this resource, or report an error, select the corresponding tab above.

Log in to comment