7TH GRADE SCIENCE

CLASSIFICATION LABS

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LAB#2

FOCUS/ESSENTIAL QUESTION(S): 

What is taxonomy and why is it necessary? 

Who were the first taxonomists and what did each contribute? 

How are field guides and dichotomous keys useful? 

How are organisms classified? 

What are the seven taxons in the present taxonomic system?

Launch Activity:

Students will draw and label THE   following:

Your dresser and the items in the drawers

Your favorite video store and the layout

Your favorite grocery store and the layout

 

Brainstorming and Discussion:

The class will then share their illustrations and discuss. Students are encouraged to think about the following in their discussions: Why do we organize objects such as clothes, videos, or foods? Do you know where to look if you need a specific item? What if a new item is added to the collection; does it have a place in the classification scheme? What if a newcomer enters your room, video store, or grocery; would he know how to find the item? The discussion should culminate with the reasons that biologists use a classification system. Some of the reasons include the need to organize organisms based on similarities in physiology, anatomy, and embryology, the need to have a universal system that all scientists can use, eliminating confusion and misleading names, and the need for a system that allows for newly discovered organisms to be given a name.

Essential Question:

How are field guides and dichotomous keys useful?

Launch:

Nine students will volunteer to donate one of their shoes. The nine shoes will be placed in a pile at the center of the room so that all students can see them. One student should volunteer to be a "scribe" and the other students will begin to organize the shoes based on characteristics such as style, color, size, purpose, and shape. The teacher should guide the discussion. The "Kingdom" of Shoes should be divided into two basic "Phyla". The two phyla named should be able to include all of the shoes such as "Shoes with Laces" and "Shoes without Laces". Next, one of the phyla should be divided into "Classes", and so on, until all shoes are classified. The scribe will identify the scheme on the overhead or chalkboard will titles of taxons and the members (specific shoes). Finally, a tenth shoe will be donated, and the students will be able to correctly place it in the scheme.

 

Critical Thinking and Discussion:

The students will review the seven taxonomic groups, and discuss the hierarchical organization, using the shoes as the example. With examples, the teacher will then demonstrate two means of identifying organisms: a field guide and a dichotomous (or taxonomic) key.

 

 

 

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