Matching and Sorting

Have you ever wondered how do we match and sort different items? 

Look at the picture here. 

Matching And Sorting of different shapes


There are several ways to match and sort these shapes.

Let us learn all about them in this page. 

Lesson Plan

What Is Matching?

Matching is the process wherein we put together any two items based on some common ground. 

Matching 4 shapes


What Is Sorting?

Sorting meaning is similar to the meaning of matching. 

In this process, instead of just 2 items, any number of items are put together based on a common criterion. 

sorting of shapes

For example, you can try to sort the shapes given above on the basis of:

  • Color
  • Number of sides 

What Is the Difference Between Matching and Sorting?

The key difference between matching and sorting is that matching is done between two different items or objects. 

On the other hand, sorting is done on several objects that are different. 

Look at the figures here.

Collection of different types of fruit

If you match the bananas in the first row with the ones in the second row, then it is called matching

If you differentiate all the colored fruits, then it is called sorting

important notes to remember
Important Notes
  1. The process of matching is done on two items, while sorting is done on any number of items. 
  2. There needs to be a common ground for either matching or sorting to be done. 

Solved Examples

Here are some examples related to matching and sorting.

Example 1



Jon has a group of objects that he wants to group.

He has 3 spheres, 5 sticks, 4 cubes, and 2 pyramids of different sizes and colors.

Which method should he use to arrange these objects in the proper order of:

1) shapes  

2) colors


1) To sort objects based on their shapes, Jon would need to “match” the solids based on their shapes.

He could match common shapes and keep all of them aside.

He will identify and keep all the sticks, cubes, spheres, and pyramids together.

This way he will have “sorted” them based on their shapes. 

2) To sort objects based on their colors, Jon would look at all the different colored objects and “match” the ones with the same color.

Now he can keep all the objects of the same color together and sort them accordingly. 

\(\therefore\) The processes are different.
Example 2



James has a lot of different numbers – \( \sqrt 2, 17, \sqrt 3, 19, 100, 252, 2, \sqrt 5 \).

He knows that he has 3 sets of numbers – prime numbers, irrational numbers, and even numbers.

Help him sort them. 


Let's first look at the numbers and identify them. 

\( \sqrt 2\) – Irrational number because of the imperfect square root.
17 – as 17 does not have any factor other than 1 and 17, it is prime.
\( \sqrt 3\) – Irrational because of the square root.
19 – as 19 does not have any factor other than 1 and 19, it is prime.
100 – It is an even number because it ends in 0.
252 – It is an even number because it ends in 2.
2 – 2 is a special number. It’s even as well as prime. It is the only number with this property because all even numbers have 2 itself as a factor. 
\( \sqrt 5\) – It is irrational.

Thus, we get the groups as follows:

Prime numbers: 17, 19, 2

Irrational numbers: \( \sqrt 2, \sqrt 3 , \sqrt 5\)

Even numbers: 100, 252 , 2 

Note that 2 is present in two groups as it is both prime and even.

Hence, sorting is done!

Challenge your math skills
Challenging Questions

We saw the difference between sorting and matching and their uses. Can you think of a scenario where both of them are used independently? Or do we need to use them collectively always?

Specify your reasons. 


Let's Summarize

The mini-lesson targeted the fascinating concept of Matching and Sorting. The math journey around Matching and Sorting starts with what a student already knows, and goes on to creatively crafting a fresh concept in the young minds. Done in a way that not only it is relatable and easy to grasp, but also will stay with them forever. Here lies the magic with Cuemath. 

About Cuemath

At Cuemath, our team of math experts is dedicated to making learning fun for our favorite readers, the students!

Through an interactive and engaging learning-teaching-learning approach, the teachers explore all angles of a topic.

Be it worksheets, online classes, doubt sessions, or any other form of relation, it’s the logical thinking and smart learning approach that we, at Cuemath, believe in.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) 

1. What is the difference between sorting and matching? 

Matching means connecting two similar objects with one another while sorting means grouping two or more objects based on some common property. 

2. How do you teach matching skills? 

We can provide 2 sets of objects, the one on the left side being the actual objects while the ones on the right being an outline of the objects on the left. 

3. Why is color sorting important? 

Color sorting helps develop cognitive visual perception and thinking skills in children.

It helps them quicken their reflexes and also helps them in their overall development. 

4. Why is sorting used? 

It is mainly used in order to arrange the items in a systematic order. 

5. What do you mean by sorting? 

Sorting is any process where the data is arranged in a meaningful order. 

6. What is another word for matching?

Equal, duplicate, and comparable are used as synonyms for matching. 

7. Why is matching used?

It is mainly used in order to compare two different items. 

Download Free KG Worksheets
Matching and Sorting
Kg | Worksheet 1
Matching and Sorting
Kg | Worksheet 2
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