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Sets and Venn Diagrams with Toys~ Math Game

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There are so many fun ways to make math lessons fun. One way is through simple math games.  We did a fun math game when we learned about Sets and Venn Diagrams with string and toys. A Venn diagram (or set diagram) is a diagram that shows all possible relations between a collection of sets using overlapping circles.

math book on sets

We have a living math book book called If You Were a Set by Marcie Aboff. I was reading it to my kids during school the other day and wanted to expand on it with tangible objects.

The book starts like this: “If you were a set you could be a group of children, a group of swings, a group of slides or a group of dogs.”  The book then goes on to describe what a set is and how you can find sets all over the place. The end of the book has some more ideas for learning as well as a glossary of terms. It’s a great learning book for young kids. There are more in the series including odd & even numbers, fraction, minus sign, and plus sign.

Math lesson on sets & Venn Diagrams

We got out some of our learning manipulatives and went to work making sets. The kids made a set of animals first, then we decided to do a set of red animals. I decided this would be a perfect chance to teach them about Venn Diagrams. I made two circles out of yarn and we put them on the ground overlapping. They had 2 sets: animals and red toys. Then they figured out that there were some red animals and we put those into the overlapping section in the middle.

This was a really great way to teach the concept to my kids. The hands-on aspect really makes the lesson memorable. They had fun creating more sets after this one with other toys.

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  1. Cool. We were just reading, “All Kinds of Families” by Mary Ann Hoberman. It would work with this activity as well because she focuses on sets (which she calls “families”) and then she also talks about human families! We’ll try your activity.

  2. Great idea. I love this. When I taught high school we used Venn diagrams all the time, but I like the more hands on version for young children.

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