Every year when we do sorting, my kids love to play the "What Doesn't Belong?" game. I use the picture cards, below, cut lengthwise into four-picture strips. I love this game because it brings so many skills into the lesson, while still being fun. It develops vocabulary, encourages logical thinking and also pulls critical thinking all into one fun lesson.
First we name all of the pictures on the strip. Students then decide what doesn't belong in the group of four pictures. Almost all of them know, right away, which one doesn't belong. THE TRICK, however, and the most important part of this lesson, is that they have to tell me WHY that item doesn't belong. For example, "The "pool" doesn't belong because it's not something you eat." Many times, there can be more than one correct answer. For example, in this group of pictures: cake, pool, pizza, carrot a student might say that the "carrot" doesn't belong because it's not round. Both of these answers are correct. Students LOVE it when they think of a reason that one doesn't belong that even I didn't think of! I love this game because it is a means of differentiation just by letting the students think and talk. Hope you can use it, too. Click on the picture to download three pages of card strips.