Word sorts have been used as an instructional tool by educators for many years.  The influx of interactive white boards over the past decade have provided educators with a digital platform to display and physically sort words for their entire class.  And if you used SMART Notebook like I did, don’t pretend that you didn’t think the Vortex was pretty cool!

While the whole group word sort on the SMART Board was fun, it only allowed for a few students to participate in the activity.  It also was only viewable on computers with SMART Notebook and couldn’t be viewed on devices that don’t have Flash installed.  Today, as teachers look to create more individualized and student-centered learning experiences through leveraging Learning Management Systems, what options are there for creating digital word sorts that students could complete individually?

Well you could start by Googling “word sort builder,” you’ll find several different options – but really none that are that great  Fortunately, I came across a way to create a word sort through using the open-source website H5P.org.  Last month, I discussed some of the ways that educators can create their own activities in H5P to share within their LMS or website.

With H5P you can build a great digital Word Sort that allows students to sort the words into categories and provides them with an option to check their work.  The H5P Word Sort is a great tool for review, but it’s also a little tricky to set up.  Read the directions below OR feel free to watch this video tutorial.


  1. Create an account with H5P.
  2. The type of activity that you want is called “Drag and Drop.”  Unfortunately, it’s not an option when start from scratch.  So you need to find the Drag and Drop sample which is located in the Example and Downloads sub page.
  3. Click CLONE CONTENT and H5P will copy the template into your account.
  4. Now we have to modify the existing content that we copied.  Start by editing the title replacing the background image (unless you are doing a Strawberry word sort!)
  5. You’ll notice two tabs – settings and task.  To start building your word sort, click Task. h5p
  6. The first thing you’ll want to do is to create your categories or “Drop Zones”  there’s a target button that will allow you create new drop zones.
  7. After you have your drop zones set up, we now have to add in our words to sort.  To add text click on the text icon.  You can also sort images but selecting the photo icon.  Either of these options will take you to a new screen.
  8. Start by entering one of your words.  Then where it says “select drop zones” check on all of your categories.  This is enabling students to drop words in all of your categories.  When finished press “Done.”  Repeat this process until all of your words have been added.                              h5p2
  9. So now you have your Drop Zones (categories) and all of your words.  The last step is to assign which words belong in the correct drop zone.  Start by double clicking a drop zone and then select any items that belong there under “correct elements”  You also can choose to Auto Align items.  Do this for every drop zone that you have created.                                              h5p3
  10. Go ahead and test your word sort by clicking Preview.  It should allow students to drag any word into any of the drop zones you created.
  11. To share, simply copy the URL or click the embed code to copy and paste into your LMS!