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Fifth Grade - Science - Overview - December

This month in Science students study the scientific classification of living organisms. Though students have had previous exposure to classification, they have not studied it in the depth that they will during these lessons. Students learn the five kingdoms and the way that each kingdom is subdivided into smaller and more specific categories, such as family and species. Students use glyphs to examine specific examples of classification and are given the opportunity to enrich their learning through the viewing of a video. Throughout this unit, classification is taught not only as content, but as a higher-order thinking skill, and is complemented through lesson requirements that prompt students to establish criteria and justify strategies for grouping.

You may also wish to inform students and their families that related to this science unit, the Maryland Science Center is offering weekend workshops entitled "Amazing Mammals" and "Feathered Friends" for fourth and fifth graders. The workshops are being offered as a part of the PRISM Program, and further information about them can be obtained by calling the PRISM Program Coordinator at 410-545-5951, or by writing the Education Department at the Maryland Science Center, 601 Light Street, Baltimore, MD 21230.
 

Fifth Grade - Science - Lesson 19 - A Review of the Classification of Living Things
 

Objectives

Generate a list of animals and group them.

Justify the grouping.

Examine a given animal and list its characteristics.

Define "classification."

Infer the reasons why scientists classify animals.

Determine the characteristics that qualify a given set of objects.
 

Materials

One copy for each small group of the animal pictures, attached

One copy for each small group of the "zanger" worksheet, attached

One copy for each student of the classification homework, attached (optional)
 

Suggested Books

Teacher Resource

Lieberman, Lillian. Classification. Palo Alto, CA: Monday Morning Books, 1989. This book contains reproducibles that ask students to label, sort, choose and group items based on their characteristics.

Pesiri, Evelyn. Learn to Think. Carthage, IL: Good Apple, Inc., 1986. This book has reproducible activities that ask students to identify and describe categorical relationships.

Rosakis, Laurie. Critical Thinking for the Primary Grades. New York: Scholastic Professional Books, 1992. There is a whole section of classifying activities within this book. Though they are written for students in Grades Kindergarten through Three, the activities could easily be modified to be suitable for fifth graders.

________. Critical Thinking for the Middle and Upper Grades. New York: Scholastic Professional Books, 1991. There is a whole section within this book of excellent critical thinking activities.
 

Teacher Background

In this lesson, students review the concept of classification. Students first generate a list of animals using the cooperative learning technique known as "Round Table." In this activity, a piece of paper travels from student to student, around the cooperative team, going to each student in turn. When a student receives the paper, he or she writes on it the name of an animal, any type of animal, then passes the paper along. The paper should move at a fairly rapid pace, and though the goal is not to get the most animals, teams may rush in an attempt to get the longest list, which is fine. Once students have created a list that includes about ten to twenty animals, the listing is stopped and students are asked to put the animals into at least three groups. Students share the ways in which they grouped the animals, then take a closer look, as a class, at the characteristics of a set of given animals. These animals are then grouped according to their characteristics, and the term "classification" is re-defined in more depth than previously done. Students think of other things that are classified, and this leads them into inferring the reasons why scientists classify animals. Finally, to sharpen the critical thinking skill of classification, cooperative teams are given a challenge to determine the characteristics that qualify an object as a "zanger" and to identify other "zangers" on the attached worksheet.

Students have had experience with classification previous grades. In Kindergarten, they classified leaves and sounds. They also classified items based on how they felt, how they were used, whether they were living or non-living, and whether magnetic or non-magnetic. In First Grade, students classified animals according to their diet and grouped rocks according to their characteristics. In Visual Arts in the Second Grade, colors were classified as warm or cool. Third Grade gave the students much experience in classifying animals. They identified major characteristics scientists use to classify animals and classified animals as endothermic or ectothermic and vertebrate or invertebrate. They also examined the characteristics of amphibians, reptiles and mammals and reviewed the five classes of vertebrates. In September, fifth graders observed the classification of elements as metal or non-metal in a periodic table, and classified elements as solid, liquid or gas. As a part of the Reading Mastery series, students were introduced to the concept of warm blooded animals in Reading Mastery III, Lesson 57, domesticated animals in Reading Mastery V, Lesson 43, and endangered species in Reading Mastery VI, Lessons 57 and 58.
 

Procedure

Begin today's lesson by putting the students into five cooperative teams. Explain that the new science unit is centered on animals, and to get them thinking about animals, they will first

participate in an activity called "Round Table." Tell them how to proceed. Each team will get a sheet of lined paper. When told to begin, one student will write the name of any animal on the first line, then pass the paper to the person sitting next to him or her on the right. That person will write the name of another animal on the next line, and pass the paper on, in the same direction, to the next person. This will continue for several minutes. The paper must go to each person in turn and cannot be passed until the person who has it has written down the name of an animal not yet on the team's list. Allow students to begin this activity; continue until each team has about ten to twenty animals.

Next, tell students that they need to group the animals into at least three categories. Tell them that it does not matter how the animals are grouped, as long as they are grouped in some way, for example, "animals whose names have one syllable," or "animals that are kept as pets." Allow several minutes for students to do this, then ask for students to share their groupings. (They do not need to share which animals they put into each category.) Tell students that through the next science unit, they will be learning more and more about how living things are grouped.

To continue their effort in grouping animals, pass out to each cooperative team a copy of one of the attached animal pictures. Each team should have a different picture. Then, ask the teams to make a list of the characteristics of the animal they have been given. For example, they may want to consider where it lives, what it eats, its body parts etc. When all are finished, have each team share the characteristics they were able to think of for their animal. After each team shares, allow other students to add any characteristics for the animal that they can think of that may have been left out or forgotten by the team to whom the animal was given. If necessary, remind students of several of the characteristics they learned about in Third Grade: body covering; means of maintaining body temperature (endothermic vs. ectothermic), and skeletal structure (vertebrates vs. non-vertebrates.) Write the names of each animal up on the board, and make brief notes under each to act as a reminder to the class of the characteristics given for the animal. Once all groups have shared, ask the class to group the animals based on their characteristics. There will be more than one way to do this, and students should be encouraged to think of new and different ways to do so.

Inform the students that they have just classified the animals. (Write the word "classify" on the board.) Ask: Who can recall the definition of this word? (comparing and organizing things in groups) Tell students that though this definition is correct, in fifth grade science, it will be given some depth and changed to: "to group organisms according to similar characteristics." Tell students to help them understand why scientists classify organisms, they should think about how and why other things are classified. Ask: What in your house is grouped in a classification system? (Answers will vary, but may include CDS or tapes, silverware, clothing in drawers, etc.) For each example given, ask: Why are these items classified in this way? (Again, answers will vary, but may include that it makes the items easier to find, it keeps the house more organized and neat, etc.) Ask: Why are items grouped the way they are in the market? (They are easier to find.) Ask: What about the books in a library--what advantage does classification have there? (Books are easier to find, you know the book type by its section, it allows librarians to know where to put certain types of books, etc.) Now, ask students to reflect and infer why scientists classify organisms. (Students should be able to apply the same reasons they just gave for classifying other items: it helps keep order, allows scientists to label and identify new organisms, and makes talking about and studying organisms easier.) To clarify the reasons for scientific classification, ask: How does knowing the characteristics of a group help you to know about a member of that group? (If you know the characteristics that define the group, then all of the members of that group have those characteristics in common.) To clarify this point, ask: If I were to tell you that a "Quetzal" was a bird, what could you tell me about it without having even seen it? (It lays eggs, has feathers, and is endothermic [warm-blooded].)

Tell students that though classification can be easy, for example they know that an oak tree is a type of plant, this skill can also be difficult. Tell them that in their cooperative teams, they will be given a classification challenge. Pass out to each team a copy of the "zanger" worksheet and tell students that it is their job to decide what characteristics define a "zanger." They should look at those objects labeled as "zangers" and test their ideas by seeing if they hold true when looking at the objects labeled "not zangers." When they think they know what characteristics make a "zanger," they should circle all the "zangers" on the bottom of the sheet. You may want to give the students clues as to what they should be looking for (position and number of shapes). After allowing the students to attempt to figure the "zanger" puzzle out, ask for students to share ideas and theories about what makes a "zanger." Though the intended characteristics are that a "zanger" has more than one diamond shape, and that all squares are either level with or below the diamonds, students may find additional characteristics which are true only of the configurations labeled "zangers." Students should be congratulated on their effort.

End class today by asking students to define "classification" in their own words, then tell them that they will be learning more about how scientists classify organisms in the next lesson.

Give to students copies of the attached classification homework sheet, to be completed by the next science lesson.
 

Suggested Follow-up Activities

As a learning center, you could provide a box with a variety of items within it.

could be asked to group the items according to some common characteristic, and make lists of the items in each group. Another student would then be asked to name the characteristic upon which the items had been grouped, and regroup them, according to another characteristic, making lists for yet another student.

Encourage students to make their own "zanger" type puzzles for their classmates to solve.

If enough students are able to do so, the puzzles could be displayed on a bulletin board or in the hall for other schoolmates to try to solve.
 

Students may also be given random lists of objects to classify under headings they make up. It would then be interesting to compare the various ways in which students classified the objects. Related to this, students could be asked to make lists of objects that could be classified in different ways, then exchange lists and classify them.
 

All zangers have _____________________________________________________________
 

___________________________________________________________________________
 
 
 

Fifth Grade - Science - Lesson 19 - A Review of the Classification of Living Things
 

Name: ____________________________ Date Due:______________________

Directions: Under each characteristic, list at least four items that could be classified as a part of that category.
 

Flat Smooth
 

______________________________ ______________________________
 

______________________________ ______________________________
 

______________________________ ______________________________
 

______________________________ ______________________________
 
 
 

Salty Small
 

______________________________ ______________________________
 

______________________________ ______________________________
 

______________________________ ______________________________
 

______________________________ ______________________________
 
 
 

Salty AND Small Flat AND Smooth
 

______________________________ ______________________________
 

______________________________ ______________________________
 

______________________________ ______________________________
 

______________________________ ______________________________
 
 
 

Extra Credit: Name two things that are flat, smooth and small OR name two things that are salty, small and flat.

______________________________________________________
 

Fifth Grade - Science - Lesson 20 - Kingdoms of Living Organisms

Pizza activity adapted from Hands On! Science Activities, by Vivian Mahmaltchi, page 8.
 

Objectives

Identify the five kingdoms of living organisms.

Determine what kingdoms are or may be represented on a slice of pizza.

Name other types of food which contain members of at least three kingdoms.
 

Materials

Transparency or chart made from the attached illustration of the five kingdoms

One copy for each student of the attached organizer entitled "Classifying Living Things"

Transparency of the attached illustration of a slice of pizza

One copy for each cooperative team of the attached table entitled "Kingdoms of Pizza"
 

Suggested Books

Student Reference

Coldrey, Jennifer. Discovering Fungi. New York: The Bookwright Press, 1988. This book is an excellent introduction to the kingdom of fungi and is written at a level appropriate for fifth graders. The book discusses what fungi are, how they live and grow, their reproduction, and their relationships with other living things.

Facklam, Howard and Margery. Bacteria. New York: Twenty-First Century Books, 1994. Though the text may be difficult for some fifth graders, there are great pictures of bacteria in this book, as well as information on its discovery, presence in our lives and impact on the world.

Schwartz, David M. The Hidden Life of the Pond. New York: Crown Publishers, Inc., 1988. This book contains information on all of the life forms that can be found in a pond. The text is easy to read and there are marvelous photographs of algae and other microscopic beings.

Teacher Resource

Hirsch, E.D. What Your Fifth Grader Needs to Know. New York: Doubleday, 1993. Within this book is excellent background material for today's lesson.

Makhmaltchi, Vivian. Hands On! Science Activities. Troll Associates, 1992. This book has lots of simple, yet interesting science activities, most of which are appropriate for fifth graders.
 

Teacher Background

In this lesson, students continue their study of scientific classification. They are introduced to the five major kingdoms of living organisms: plant; fungi; animal; protist; moneran. This introductory lesson serves only to show students the necessity of the five kingdoms and their basic differences; students will learn more about the fungi, protist and moneran kingdoms next month. After hearing about and discussing the kingdoms, students are asked to determine what kingdoms are, or could be, represented on a slice of pizza. After making the transparency of the pizza slice, you may want to color it using overhead markers so that students can more easily tell what is on the pizza (mushrooms, green peppers, olives and pepperoni). See the provided key for guidance in coloring the pizza. Finally, students brainstorm in teams, other foods which contain members from at least three of the kingdoms of living things.

Students have had plenty of exposure to classification within the animal kingdom (see the Teacher Background in Lesson 19 for details on what students should know in this regard) and are also familiar with the plant kingdom. In Kindergarten they learned that plants make their own food, and about the types and parts of plants. Plants' roles in energy chains and plants' habitats were covered in First Grade. In Second Grade, students learned about the life cycle and reproduction of plants.
 

Procedure

Begin today's lesson by asking a student to remind the class of what it means to classify (to group organisms according to similar characteristics). Tell students that in the last lesson, they classified different types of animals. Today, they will be dealing with groups in addition to animals, as today they will be introduced to the five classifications of living organisms. Tell students that when scientists decided to organize all the living organisms on the planet, they decided to call the largest groups they categorized "kingdoms." Ask: Why does this make sense as a name? (Kingdoms of land are very large, so if a group of living organisms were called a "kingdom" one could assume the group was very large also.) Many years ago, scientists knew of only two kingdoms. Ask: What do you think these two kingdoms were called? (the plant and animal kingdoms) Within these kingdoms, of course, scientists further divided types of plants and animals, but students will learn about the further division in the next lesson. Ask: What are the main differences between the plant and animal kingdoms? (Plants make their own food and animals don't; animal can move themselves freely around and plants can't.) Tell students that the differences between plants and animals are easy to see because most plants and animals are also easy to see. Once the microscope was invented, however, scientists discovered other tiny living organisms that seemed to be neither plant nor animal. Their discoveries led them to name three more kingdoms: the fungi (FUN-jie), protist (PRO-tist) and moneran (muh-NER-uhn) kingdoms.

Put up the overhead transparency of the five kingdoms and pass out the organizer entitled "Classifying Living Things" to students. Tell students that as they have noted, plants make their own food, and animals don't. As they look at the transparency and chart, what differences do they predict exist between the remaining five kingdoms? (Answers will vary. Students may infer that some of the differences may be based on food-production characteristics, and should certainly note that, as they were told, the size of the living organisms within the latter three kingdoms is typically quite small.) When the size difference is noted, you will want to make sure that students understand that on the transparency, the illustrations of the members of the fungi, protist and moneran kingdoms have been enlarged quite a bit. In fact, some members of the protist and moneran kingdoms are so tiny that thousands are contained in a single drop of water! Tell students that next month, they will be learning more about these other three kingdoms, so for now, it will be enough for them to know a little and recognize a few examples of the living things in each kingdom.

Point out the fungi kingdom on the overhead and ask: What do you see in this kingdom that you recognize? (a mushroom) Tell students that indeed, mushrooms are a part of the fungi kingdom, and instruct students to write "mushrooms" in the box under "fungus" on their charts. Tell them that they have all also seen members of the fungus kingdom when they have found something at the back of the refrigerator that has been there too long. Ask: What member of the fungus kingdom could this be? (mold) Students should add this in the same box, under "mushrooms." Tell students that another member of the fungus kingdom, which also starts with the letter "M" can be found in dark, damp places like basements and showers. Ask: What could this be? (mildew) This, too, should be added to the box. Despite the fact that mold and mildew are members of the fungus kingdom, there is another member that students eat probably every day, because it is an ingredient in bread. Ask: Does anyone know what member of the fungus kingdom goes into bread? (A hint: it makes bread rise.) (yeast) Students should add this member of the fungus kingdom to the box as well. Tell students that unlike plants and animals, members of the fungus kingdom absorb their food from other living or dead things.

Tell students to now look at the pictures on the transparency of some of the members of the protist kingdom. Ask: Who would like to make a guess about the members of this kingdom? (Answers will vary. Accept all reasonable answers, and prod students to explain the reasoning that led them to make the prediction.) Tell students that members of the protist kingdom can be found in pond water. They are the tiny living organisms within it. Students should write in the box under "protist" "organisms in pond water." Protists are like plants or animals in that some make their own food and some don't.

Next, point out the moneran kingdom, and again ask if anyone would like to make a prediction about its members. Give students a clue and tell them that when they wash their hands, they are hoping to kill members of this kingdom. Ask: Which members could they be? (bacteria, also known as germs) Students should write "bacteria" in the box under "moneran" on their charts. Tell students that like protists, some monerans make their own food and some don't. Next month, when they study cells, they will learn to tell the difference between the members of these two kingdoms.

Tell students that the charts they have just completed are theirs to use for study purposes. They may take them home.

Next, put students into cooperative groups and display the transparency of the pizza slice. Tell students that they need to think about what kingdoms could be represented on the slice of pizza, and be able to explain why. For example, do they see members of one of the kingdoms in the sauce? Which one? (yes, plant kingdom) Ask: What members of the plant kingdom are in the sauce? (tomato and herbs) Pass out the "Kingdoms of Pizza" table and have students note how the examples have been written so that they know how to respond with their own answers. Tell students that for some items, very little explanation may be necessary. Allow students to discuss the table and complete it in teams, using the pizza illustration and the organizers they just completed for help.

When students have completed this task, ask: Who was able to find a member of the animal kingdom? What was it? (pepperoni) Ask: How does pepperoni represent the animal kingdom? In other words, what did you write for an explanation on your table? (It comes from a pig.) Ask: What were other members of the plant kingdom on the pizza? (peppers and olives) Ask: Were you able to find a member of the fungus kingdom on the slice of pizza? (yes, the mushrooms) Ask: If you left this slice in the back of the refrigerator for a month, what other member of the fungus kingdom might you find on it? (mold) Ask: Was anyone able to find another member of the fungus kingdom in the pizza? (yeast within the crust) Ask: What about the protist kingdom--is it possible for it to be represented on the pizza? If so, how? (Allow students to think creatively about how organisms from pond water may have found their way to the pizza.) Ask: Finally, what about the moneran kingdom--could it be present on the pizza? (Yes, through bacteria that may have landed on the pizza; allow students to suggest, imagine and sequence events that may have led to this happening.)

Tell cooperative teams that their final challenge of the day is to think of other types of food that contain members of at least three kingdoms. Allow teams about five minutes to think of as many as they can, then have teams share. Possible responses include: shish kebabs, mushroom cheeseburgers, spaghetti with meat sauce, and omelets. Praise students for their creativity, and tell them that in the next lesson, they will learn how scientists have divided kingdoms into smaller components.
 

Suggested Follow-up Activities
 

Since students have a chart from which to study, quiz them on the five kingdoms, and ask them not only to name them but to give examples of each.
 

Students can also be asked to draw scenes in which all of the kingdoms are represented.

One scene may be at a fish market, another at a picnic on a lake.
 

Fifth Grade - Science - Lesson 20 - Kingdoms of Living Organisms
 
 

" KINGDOMS OF PIZZA"


 
KINGDOM KINGDOM MEMBER DESCRIPTION/EXPLANATION OF ITS PRESENCE
plant tomato Tomatoes are in the sauce.
plant herb The sauce also contains herbs, and herbs are plants.

 

Fifth Grade - Science - Lesson 21 - Divisions Within Kingdoms
 

Objectives

Use progressively specific classification data to select a predetermined animal.

Identify the use of a classification system as a means of grouping living organisms into categories.

Recognize that as the classification system subdivides, animals within the categories become increasingly alike.
 

Materials

Chart or transparency made of the classification system (attached)

One copy for each student of the attached list of animals entitled "List Number One"

One copy for each cooperative group of the attached list of animals entitled "List Number Two"
 

Suggested Books

Student Reference

Diagram Group. Comparisons. New York: St. Martins, 1980. This book compares different animals, plants and objects and would be useful in getting students to notice differences that allow scientists to classify.

Macmillan Illustrated Animal Encyclopedia. New York: Macmillan Publishing Company, 1991. Mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians and fish are covered in this book, which gives a drawing of each animal, its scientific name and facts about it. Characteristics common to certain animal families, such as the hummingbird, deer and bear families, are also described.

Rauson, Mark. Feet, Flippers, Hooves and Hands. New York: Lothrop, 1994. Animals' feet and hands are examined as a way of classifying them in this book.

Troll's Student Handbook. Mahwah, NJ: Troll Associates, 1992. This book contains a brief history and description of the classification system on page 46.

Walters, Martin. The Simon & Schuster Young Readers' Book of Animals. New York: Simon & Schuster, Inc., 1990. This book does an outstanding job of explaining the classification system, and includes many tables and charts to help students grasp this concept. The animals described are then grouped into vertebrates and invertebrates, and the author moves through both of these groups by beginning with the simplest animals, then moving through the most complex.

Teacher Resource

"Animal Classification." Teacher's Helper, April/May/June 1996, 31-44. This section of the periodical contains excellent background information on the classification system as well as mini-experiments students can perform and ideas for further research.
 

Web Site

http://www.bev.net/education/SeaWorld/animal_bytes/animal_bytes.html This is a web page produced by Sea World that lists various animals and gives their classification information, as well as interesting facts about each.
 

Teacher Background

In this lesson, students are exposed to the various subdivisions within kingdoms. After listening to a comparison of the classification system to geographic location, they participate as a class in a game that asks them to listen carefully as you describe classification facts about a "mystery animal." The first time the game is played, you will guide them as the classification facts become increasingly more specific and narrow the field of possible mystery animals. After the last classification fact is given, students are asked if they can guess the identity of the mystery animal. The next time the game is played, students are put into cooperative teams and, with less teacher guidance, are given another set of increasingly revealing classification clues about the identity of the mystery animal. This second set of clues may be given orally by the teacher, as described in the lesson, or may be put into writing on a chart, overhead or ditto and given to each cooperative group to use with no teacher guidance. After the last clue has been given, teams are asked to identify what they think is the mystery animal. You may consider rewarding the teams who correctly identify the mystery animal with some small prize. Note that the lists for the rounds of the game are printed twice on the same sheet of paper in this lesson; this has been done for conservation purposes. You can copy the lists and then cut them apart so that each list does not use a whole sheet of paper.

In the last science lesson, students were given a graphic organizer containing information on the various kingdoms of living things. It was suggested that you quiz the students on this information. If you opt to do this, give the quiz before starting the procedure in today's lesson.

See the Teacher Background in Lesson 19 for a description of students' previous experience with classification.

It should be noted that this lesson may run over the typical time allotted for Science, and you should teach it, or aspects of it, as time allows and as your experience deems necessary.

Procedure

Begin today's lesson by asking students: What is the name, discussed in the last science class, of the large groupings of living organisms? (kingdoms) Ask: What were the five kingdoms of living things? (animal, plant, fungus, protist, moneran) Remind students that the reasons why scientists classify living organisms include that it helps keep order, allows scientists to label and identify new organisms, and makes talking about and studying organisms easier. Tell students that this being the case, if one scientist wanted to speak with another scientist about a living organism he or she was studying, he or she might begin by describing it as an "animal." Ask: What else might the scientist want to say about the animal he or she is studying? (what type of animal it is, what characteristics it has, etc.) Tell students that the classification of "animal" is very broad, just as the grouping of kingdom is the largest grouping in the classification system. Tell students that in today's lesson, they will learn how scientists have divided kingdoms into smaller groups. These smaller groups allow scientists to describe living things in much more detail.

Display "The Classification System" table on the overhead and tell students that the category of "animal kingdom" could be compared to the answer of "Earth" if someone were to ask where your school was located. "Earth" would not tell them very much, would it? If you wanted to be a little more specific, you could say that you went to school in the western hemisphere, as the Earth has been divided into hemispheres. Hemispheres are like the groupings of phyla (singular is phylum) within kingdoms. For example, the plant kingdom has ten phyla. Ask: How could you be just a little more specific than "western hemisphere" about the location of your school? (You could name the continent.) Just as there are continents within each of the hemispheres, each of the phylum contain further subdivisions called classes. So, the kingdoms are like the planets, the phyla are like hemispheres, the classes are like continents. Ask: What would be the next largest division of geography, contained within continents? (countries) Continents have been divided into countries as classes have been divided into orders. Tell students that they are now more specific than they were when they began to answer the question regarding where they go to school--the United States is more specific than Earth--but it is not specific enough. Ask: How is our country divided? (into states) Tell students that states are like the classification called family. Countries are broken into states the way that orders are broken into families. (They may need some clarification so that they do not assume "family" in this context means the same as the more familiar sense of the word.) So, now the person who asked the question, "Where is your school located?" now knows it is in the state of Maryland. Ask: What would you tell him or her next without giving away exactly where the school can be found? (the city, Baltimore) A family has genuses in the same way that a state has cities. Finally, if you wanted to be as specific as you could about the location of your school, what would you say? (its address) 56 East 39th Street (insert the address of your school instead of this given one) is the same as saying the species of a living organism. Genuses contain many species the way that cities contain many addresses on streets. Point out the mnemonic device at the bottom of the transparency and if you wish, require students to memorize it.

Leave the transparency of the classification system on display, and tell students that they will now be playing a game, with your guidance, called "Mystery Animal." Pass out copies of List Number One and tell students that you will be giving them a series of clues that will slowly eliminate some of the animals on the list. By the time you get to the last clue, students should have only a few animals left, and can then make an educated guess about the identity of the mystery animal. Explain to students that in the first round of the game, you will be guiding them so that they understand how the game is played. In the second round, you will not be providing the same amount of help, but students will be working on teams. They should listen carefully in the first round, because some of the round one clues will help, if they remember them, in the second round.

Before the first clue is given, tell students that the clues will consist of names from the classification system. Explain that you will begin with the kingdom of the mystery animal, and work your way down, becoming more specific, until you have given the species of the mystery animal, which will be the last clue. Most of the classification categories will sound strange or unfamiliar, and that is because they are in Latin, or made to sound as if they are Latin. Tell students that the man who invented the classification system, Carl von Linne, did so in the 1750s. At this time, Latin was still considered to be the preferred scientific language. If time permits, ask: What do you think this has to do with the Renaissance? (During the rebirth of learning, ancient Roman and Greek classics, which were either in Latin or Greek or translated into Latin or Greek, were studied. Latin became the language people used when they were referring to scientific data.) The Latin names allow scientists around the world to understand each other. The names also ensure that they are using the same names for the same animals or other living things. As students listen to the Latin names of the categories, they should be able to pick up, for some of them, clues as to what the name could mean.

Tell students that the first clue about the identity of the mystery creature is that it is in the animal kingdom. Ask: Does this allow you to eliminate any of the living things from the list? (no) Ask: Why not? (All of the organisms on the list are animals.)

Tell students that their next clue is the phylum of the animal. Its phylum is Chordata, which includes all of the animals with backbones, vertebrates. (Remind students that they should try to remember what some of these classification names indicate so that in round two of the game, they have an advantage.) Ask: What animal does this allow you to cross off the list? (jellyfish)

After the classification of phylum, of which there are at least twenty within the animal kingdom, comes the next specific category of animal, the class. Members of a class have more in common with one another than do members of a phylum. The class of the mystery animal is Mammalia. Ask: What word do you hear inside of the word "Mammalia" that gives you a clue about its meaning? (mammal) Indeed, the Mammalia class is mammals. Ask: What does it mean to be a mammal? (Mammals feed their young on mother's milk, are warm blooded [endothermic], have fur or hair, and breathe through lungs.) Other classes include Reptilia (reptiles) and Aves (birds). Ask: What animals can you now cross off the list, knowing that the mystery animal is a mammal? (parrot, alligator, ostrich)

Instruct students to look to the transparency of the classification system and ask: Considering that you were just told the class of the mystery animal, what is the next category you will hear? (the order of the mystery animal) Tell students that the order of the mystery animal is Carnivora. Tell students that the order of Carnivora includes animals that eat flesh. An example of another order is the order of Insectivora. Ask: What animals do you think are included in the order of Insectivora? (those that eat insects.) Ask: What animals can you now cross off the list, knowing that the mystery animal is a carnivore? (anteater, bat)

At this point in the lesson, have students take note of the trend that is occurring as the list narrows. Point out that in the beginning, all of the animals were included in the animal kingdom. Then, one of the animals was crossed out once we knew the phylum of the mystery animal, because we knew that the mystery animal was in the Chordata phylum and therefore had a backbone. All of the animals on the list at that point had backbones, but some were mammals and some were not. Once we heard the class, though, they had a smaller group of animals left who all had backbones and were mammals. Ask: Does this mean that all mammals have backbones? (yes) Why? (because mammals are a class which is a part of the phylum of chordata) Currently, they have an even smaller group of animals left on the list. Ask: What do all of these animals have in common? (All have backbones, are mammals and eat flesh; they all belong to the same kingdom, phylum, class, and order.) Do all mammals eat flesh? (no) What will happen as they continue to hear the family, genus and species of the mystery animal? (More and more animals will be crossed off the list.) As animals are crossed off the list, what can we say about the animals that are left? (They have more and more in common.)

Tell students that the next clue is that the mystery animal belongs to the Canidae family. (Write this on the board, and next to it, write "long snouts and long bushy tails.") Tell students that because the Canidae family is described this way, they need to look at the list and think about what each of the animals looks like. Ask: Based on this description of the family, what animals can be crossed off the list? (tiger, lion and leopard) Can we assume, then, that the remainder of the animals on the list are in the Canidae family? (yes) Why? (They all meet the description given.)

Next, tell students that the genus of the mystery animal is Canis. Tell students that no more information will be provided to them about the genus. Ask: Can you cross out any of the animals? (no) Why not? (You don't know another factor that would allow you to do so.) Looking at the animals left, the German shepherd, timber wolf and coyote, do you think that they all belong to the genus Canis? (Answers will vary.) Ask students to explain their predictions. It is expected that answers will be both in the affirmative, because the animals left are so similar, and in the negative, because students will expect the pattern of elimination to continue. Tell students that genuses do consist of very similar groups, but that the groups within genuses don't generally breed with one another. For example, the black-footed penguin and Galapagos penguin are both in the Spheniscus family, but don't generally interbreed. Tell students that in fact, all of the three animals left on the list do belong to the genus Canis.

Tell students their final clue is the species of the mystery animal. Members of the same species differ from all other forms of life in at least one way, and have many common characteristics with one another. Members of species breed with one another and their offspring grow up to resemble the parents. The species of the mystery animal is Lupus. This animal, like all other animals, is referred to scientifically using the genus and species names together. Therefore, the scientific name of the mystery animal is Canis lupus. Make sure that students understand that the common name, such as the one they will select, is the same creature as that indicated by the scientific name. The two names are just different ways of referring to the same animal.

Instruct students to guess which of the three animals left is the mystery animal and circle its name. Once all students have done so, ask students to stand as you say the name of the animal they have circled. First, ask for those who circled the German shepherd to stand, then those who circled the coyote. Finally, tell students that those left in their seats, who circled the timber wolf, selected the correct mystery animal. Tell students that selecting the correct mystery animal this time was a combination of luck and skill, but that next time, it will be much more skill as the names of the classification categories given will contain more clues and will test their ability to remember information told to them during round one of the game.

Put students into cooperative groups and pass out to each group a copy of List Number Two. (Leave the transparency on display for student reference.) Remind students to work with one another and listen to what everyone has to say before they cross any animal off the list and before they select the mystery animal. Tell them that sometimes clues will allow them to cross off one, two, three or even four animals, but that other times, clues will not allow them to cross out any animals.

First, ask: What kingdom does the mystery animal belong to? (animal) Are there any organisms on the list that don't belong to the animal kingdom? (no) Does knowing the kingdom then allow you to cross anything out? (no) Can you name a living thing that doesn't belong in the animal kingdom? (Students should be able to, and answers will vary.)

Next, tell students that the phylum of the mystery animal is Chordata. Encourage them to try to remember, and discuss with one another, what you said about this phylum, and then to cross out any animals that don't belong to it. (Students should cross out the snail.)

Tell students that the class of the mystery animal is Mammalia. Again, they should recall what they were told in round one of the game and cross out any animals that don't belong to this class. (Students should cross out python, turtle, penguin and parrot.)

Then, inform students that just like the mystery animal in round one, the mystery animal in this round is a carnivore and belongs to the order of Carnivora. (Students should cross out the buffalo, anteater and horse.)

Ask: What will the next clue reveal? (the family of the mystery animal) Tell students that the mystery animal is a member of the Felidae family. (Students should recall, or if you have left the information on the board, should think to use it, that the Canidae family consisted of animals that had long snouts and long, bushy tails. Based on this information, they should cross out the

fox and gray wolf, which clearly belong to the Canidae family and therefore cannot be a part of the Felidae family. You may want to cue them to think about what animals on the list don'tbelong to the Felidae family.)

Tell students that the genus of the mystery animal is Panthera. (This clue does not allow students to cross out either of the animals left on the list. Both the tiger and lion, as well as animals such as the panther and leopard, all belong to this group.)

Tell students that if they really think about the species name, the final clue, they should be able to discover the identity of the mystery animal. Its species is Leo, making its scientific name Panthera leo. (It is hoped that at least one student within each group will make the connection, based either on story names or astrology, between leo and lion.)

Ask groups to discuss the identity of the mystery animal and circle it. On the count of three, have all groups hold up their lists, and congratulate the students who selected lion. Ask them to explain how they came to the conclusion that the lion was the mystery animal.

Make sure that students understand that the other kingdoms are divided the same way. For example, within the plant kingdom, the grapefruit tree's scientific name is Citrus paradisi, and the orange tree's scientific name is Citrus sinensis. The grapefruit and orange belong to the same genus, but not the same species. Ask: What so you think are other members of this genus? (Answers will vary, but should include other citrus fruit trees.)

Summarize today's lesson by asking students what assumptions could be made if they were told that two creatures were in the same kingdom. (Not very many assumptions could be made--only that they were both animals, or plants, etc.) What assumptions could be made if you were told that two animals were both in the same genus? (The animals would be very much alike, but would not breed with one another.) What assumptions could be made if you were told that two animals were in the species? (That the animals were very much alike and were different from all other animals in at least one way. It could also be assumed that the two animals could breed, and that the offspring would look like the parents.) Thinking about the differences between animals from the phylum level all the way down to the species level, what types of characteristics does it seem that scientists use to classify animals? (Answers will vary but should include what they look like, what they eat, whether or not they have a backbone, whether they breed together or not, whether or not they nurse their young, etc.)

Suggested Follow-up Activities

Students could be given a list of common animal names and scientific animal names and asked to do research that would allow them to match the common names with the correct scientific names.
 

Students could also do further research on the classification of an animal that interests them. Once they have found out its phylum, class, order, family, genus and species, they could write this information down and draw a picture of the animal to go with it. The information and illustrations could be displayed on a bulletin board.

If the above activity is completed, students could then make a table like the one below.
 

Fifth Grade - Science - Lesson 21 - Divisions Within Kingdoms
 

The table could be posted somewhere in the room, for additions as students research more animals. Questions could be placed under the table to enrich students' understanding of the nature of the classification system. For example, one could ask: What animals are members ofthe same family, but not the same genus? How are these animals alike? How are these animals different? What other animals would you predict are also members of that genus?
 
common animal name phylum class order family genus species

 
 
 

Fifth Grade - Science - Lesson 21 - Divisions Within Kingdoms
 

LIST NUMBER ONE LIST NUMBER ONE ALLIGATOR ALLIGATOR
 

LEOPARD LEOPARD
 

COYOTE COYOTE
 

JELLYFISH JELLYFISH
 

LION LION
 

PARROT PARROT
 

ANTEATER ANTEATER
 

GERMAN SHEPHERD GERMAN SHEPHERD
 

BAT BAT
 

TIMBER WOLF TIMBER WOLF
 

TIGER TIGER
 

OSTRICH OSTRICH
 

Fifth Grade - Science - Lesson 21 - Divisions Within Kingdoms
 

LIST NUMBER TWO LIST NUMBER TWO
 

BUFFALO BUFFALO
 

PENGUIN PENGUIN
 

TIGER TIGER
 

ANTEATER ANTEATER
 

FOX FOX
 

SNAIL SNAIL
 

TURTLE TURTLE
 

LION LION
 

PYTHON PYTHON
 

PARROT PARROT
 

GRAY WOLF GRAY WOLF
 

HORSE HORSE

Fifth Grade - Science - Lesson 21 - Divisions Within Kingdoms
 
 

THE CLASSIFICATION SYSTEM

THIS CATEGORY ....... IS MUCH LIKE THIS CATEGORY.
KINGDOM PLANET
PHYLUM HEMISPHERE
CLASS CONTINENT
ORDER COUNTRY
FAMILY STATE
GENUS CITY
SPECIES STREET ADDRESS

 

Remember the classification system by using this mnemonic device:

King Phillip Came Over For Good Spaghetti.

I H L R A E P

N Y A D M N E

G L S E I U C

D U S R L S I

O M Y E

M S
 

Fifth Grade - Science - Lesson 22 - Examination of Classification Examples
 

Objectives

Define the word "taxonomist."

Examine an example of classification through the use of a glyph.

Create a classification puzzle through the use of a glyph.

Solve a glyph puzzle made by a classmate.
 

Materials

Transparency or chart of human glyph directions (attached)

Two copies of the attached blank bird glyph for each student

One copy for each student of the attached animal classification table

Crayons or markers for pairs of students to share

One copy for each student of the directions for making an independent glyph puzzle (attached)
 

Suggested Books

Student Reference

Macmillan Illustrated Animal Encyclopedia. New York: Macmillan Publishing Company, 1991. Mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians and fish are covered in this book, which gives a drawing of each animal, its scientific name and facts about it. Characteristics common to certain animal families, such as the hummingbird, deer and bear families, are also described.

Morgan, Sally. Animals and their World. New Tork: Kingfisher, 1996. On page five of this book there is an interesting "family tree" diagram that depicts the breakdown of the animal kingdom into smaller groups.

Walters, Martin. The Simon & Schuster Young Readers' Book of Animals. New York: Simon & Schuster, Inc., 1990. This book does an outstanding job of explaining the classification system, and includes many tables and charts to help students grasp this concept. The animals described are then grouped into vertebrates and invertebrates, and the author moves through both of these groups by beginning with the simplest animals then moving through the most complex.

Teacher Resource

"Animal Classification." Teacher's Helper, April/May/June 1996, 31-44. This section of the periodical contains excellent background information on the classification system as well as mini-experiments students can perform and ideas for further research.
 

Web Site

http://www.bev.net/education/SeaWorld/animal_bytes/animal_bytes.html This is a web page produced by Sea World that lists various animals and gives their classification information, as well as interesting facts about each.
 

Teacher Background

In this lesson, students begin by taking a look at an example of classification and are asked to carefully follow directions to fill in a glyph correctly. Once they have been exposed to the idea of a glyph as a means of conveying information, they are asked to select an animal and create their own glyph based on the animal's classification. Students then exchange glyphs and are expected to use the glyph puzzle and classification table to determine what animal their classmate had in mind when creating the glyph. The first glyphs will all look alike, and a key has been provided, showing a correct finished product. A key has also been provided for each of the six possible glyphs that students will be creating independently.

Make sure that the markers or crayons provided to the pairs of students have the following colors, so that the glyphs can be correctly completed: black; blue; yellow; red; green; orange.
 

Procedure

Begin today's lesson by telling students that today, they will all become taxonomists, and write this word on the board. Instruct students to recall what they have been studying in science this month, and ask: What do you think a taxonomist is? (a biologist that specializes in classification) (If students are unsure of what a biologist is, tell them that it is a scientist who studies living organisms.) Tell students that they are already familiar with the way that kingdoms have been divided. Ask: What are some of the subdivisions of kingdoms? (phlya, classes, orders, families, genuses, and species) What is the most specific of these subdivisions? (species) Have students note the similarity between the words "species" and "specific." Inform the students that today, as taxonomists, they will be examining the classification of groups of animals.

Pass out the classification table and one copy of the blank bird glyph to each student, and the crayons or markers to pairs of students. Tell them that using these supplies, their first task as taxonomists will be to color the bird correctly so that it indicates, to an informed viewer, an animal from the table. Inform the students that this picture is a glyph, and ask: Does anyone recall what culture created glyphs? (Mayan culture) What was the purpose of the glyphs? (to communicate through a system of writing) Though we don't know what this glyph may have meant to the Mayans, to us, if it is colored correctly, we will be able to "read" it and understand it as a symbol for a human. (Students may be surprised to find out that humans are also classified in the animal classification system. Remind them that they, too are a part of the animal kingdom.) Display the transparency of the directions for the human glyph, but cover most of the transparency so that only the first step is shown. Instruct the students to use the table and the directions to color the bird outline correctly. After ample time has been given, show the next step, and continue to display the steps as students are ready to progress.

Once all students have finished coloring the glyph as directed, ask them to hold up the finished glyph so that you can check their work. What is the scientific name for humans? (Homo sapiens) Ask: What language do you think this is in? (Latin) Tell them that in Latin, "homo" means "human" and "sapiens" means "the wise." Ask: Do you think this is a good name for us as an animal? (Answers will vary.) Ask: What other name might you suggest? (Answers will vary, but remind students to make any suggestions sound as though they could be Latin, as it is the language of classification.) Tell students that because they have carefully and correctly colored in the glyph, it now contains information. To demonstrate this point, ask them to turn the classification table face down, and looking only at the glyph and the directions, tell you what family humans are a part of. (Hominidae)

Tell students that the glyph they just colored depicts the classification information for a human, and that all of their glyphs look alike. They will now have an opportunity to select an animal of their own choice from the table and make another glyph which will depict the animal's classification information. Tell students that in doing so, they will be creating a glyph puzzle for another classmate to solve. Explain that once students are finished making their own glyph, they will be trading glyphs with another classmate. Each of them will use the glyph they are given to decipher what animal was chosen to be depicted by the glyph-maker. Because they will be creating this as a puzzle for another classmate, they should not tell anyone what animal they have chosen as they color the glyph correctly.

Pass out the second copy of the blank bird glyph to each student, as well as a copy of the independent glyph directions. Instruct students to follow the directions carefully so that their glyph correctly depicts the animal of their choice. Tell them that they may choose to do the human again, as it will be depicted differently on this glyph.

Once students have finished coloring their glyph puzzles, but before they trade with one another, discuss the strategy they will use to figure out what animal is being depicted in the glyph puzzle they will receive from someone else. Ask: When you get someone's else's glyph puzzle, how will you go about figuring out which animal they chose? (Look at the way they colored the puzzle, then compare it to the directions. The directions give you the names of the classifications, so that then you can go to the table to determine what animal has that type of classification.) Allow students to trade glyph puzzles with classmates who have puzzles that look different than their own. After students have had the opportunity to try to decipher the glyph puzzle of at least one other student, return to the discussion of strategy. Ask: How many of you were able to figure out what animal the person had chosen in one step? How did you do so? (It is anticipated that some students will look, for example, at the eye of the glyph, and if it is black, will know the animal is the cicada. Students may also be able to figure the animal out in one step if they look at the body or head and tail feathers, get the genus or species name, then refer to the chart.) When students offer this strategy, ask: Why would this strategy work for every animal on the table? (because every animal on the table has a different genus and species name) Tell students that this strategy would work for most of the animals if you looked at the body color, but it wouldn't work for every animal. Ask: What would you know if the color of the bird's body was black? (that the animal belonged to the family Canidae, and therefore it could be either a coyote or the Fennec fox) What would you be able to say about the animal if the legs and talons of the bird were red? (that it was a mammal) What about if the legs and talons were orange? (That it was an insect, and therefore had to be the cicada.) If the legs and talons were yellow, would you be able to say for sure what animal was being depicted? Why? (yes, because there is only one animal that is a member of the class Reptilia, the chameleon) Looking at the table, what is the scientific name for the chimpanzee? (Pan troglodytes) Which two animals, of the six on the table, are the most alike? (the coyote and Fennec fox) Why? (They belong to the same phylum, class, order, family and genus) Collect an example of each of the six possible glyphs and tape them to the blackboard. Ask students to use classification names from the table and reflect on the information contained in the displayed glyphs to compose endings to these sentences: (You may wish to write them on the board or on chart paper.)

Most of these animals... (for example, belong to the class Mammalia, or belong to different families)
 

Only two of these animals...(for example, are not a member of the class Mammalia, or belong to the family Canidae)
 

One of these animals...(for example, is a member of the phylum Arthropoda, or belongs to the Pan genus)
 

I acted like a taxonomist today when I...(for example, looked at the classification of a coyote, or learned that the scientific name for humans is Homo sapiens)

Have students share their endings to these sentences, and collect them for grading purposes.

Suggested Follow-up Activities

Students may want to display their glyphs in the hall for others to decipher. Such a display should be accompanied by copies of the table, the independent glyph directions and a brief explanation and description of what should be done.

In Lesson 21, a suggested follow-up activity involved the student completion of a table very much like the one used today. If this was done, students could make up their own glyph and set of directions and then create glyph puzzles for one another.

Fifth Grade - Science - Lesson 22 - Examination of Classification Examples
 

DIRECTIONS FOR COLORING THE GLYPH TO REPRESENT A HUMAN
 

Using the classification table, color as directed.
 

If humans belong to the phylum Arthropoda, color the upper wing of the bird black.

If humans belong to the phylum Chordata, color the upper wing of the bird blue.
 

If humans belong to the class Mammalia, color the legs and talons (claws) of the bird yellow.

If humans belong to the class Reptilia, color the legs and talons (claws) of the bird red.
 

If humans belong to the order Carnivora, color the eye of the bird blue.

If humans belong to the order Primate, color the eye of the bird black.
 

If humans belong to the family Canidae, color the head and tail feathers of the bird green.

If humans belong to the family Hominidae, color the head and tail feathers of the bird yellow.
 

If humans belong to the genus Homo, color the lower wing of the bird green.

If humans belong to the genus Chamaeloe, color the lower wing of the bird black.
 

If humans belong to the species Sapiens, color the body of the bird red.

If humans belong to the species Zerda, color the body of the bird yellow.
 

Fifth Grade - Science - Lesson 22 - Examination of Classification Examples
 

DIRECTIONS FOR MAKING YOUR OWN GLYPH PUZZLE
 

First, look at the classification table and select one of the animals from it. Don't tell anyone which animal you chose!
 

Next, follow these steps, one by one, so that the glyph correctly depicts the animal you have in mind.
 

If your animal belongs to the phylum Chordata, color the eye of the bird blue.

If your animal belongs to the phylum Arthropoda, color the eye of the bird black.
 

If your animal belongs to the class Mammalia, color the legs and talons (claws) of the bird red.

If your animal belongs to the class Insecta, color the legs and talons (claws) of the bird orange.

If your animal belongs to the class Reptilia, color the legs and talons (claws) of the bird yellow.
 

If your animal belongs to the order Carnivora, color the upper wing of the bird red.

If your animal belongs to the order Squamata, color the upper wing of the bird green.

If your animal belongs to the order Hemiptera, color the upper wing of the bird blue.

If your animal belongs to the order Primate, color the upper wing of the bird yellow.
 

If your animal belongs to the family Chamaeleontidae, color the body of the bird blue.

If your animal belongs to the family Cicadidae, color the body of the bird red.

If your animal belongs to the family Hominidae, color the body of the bird green.

If your animal belongs to the family Canidae, color the body of the bird black.

If your animal belongs to the family Pongidae, color the body of the bird orange.
 

If your animal belongs to the genus Vulpes, color the head and tail feathers of the bird yellow.

If your animal belongs to the genus Pan, color the head and tail feathers of the bird red.

If your animal belongs to the genus Chamaeleo, color the head and tail feathers of the bird green.

If your animal belongs to the genus Tibicen, color the head and tail feathers of the bird blue.

If your animal belongs to the genus Canis, color the head and tail feathers of the bird orange.

If your animal belongs to the genus Homo, color the head and tail feathers of the bird black.
 

If your animal belongs to the species Caniculatus, color the lower wing of the bird yellow.

If your animal belongs to the species Troglodytes, color the lower wing of the bird blue.

If your animal belongs to the species Zerda, color the lower wing of the bird orange.

If your animal belongs to the species Sapiens, color the lower wing of the bird black.

If your animal belongs to the species Latrans, color the lower wing of the bird green.

If your animal belongs to the species Jacksoni, color the lower wing of the bird red.

Fifth Grade - Science - Lesson 22 - Examination of Classification Examples
 
 

CLASSIFICATION TABLE

common animal name phylum class order family genus species
Fennec Fox Chordata Mammalia Carnivora Canidae Vulpes Zerda
human Chordata Mammalia Primate Hominidae Homo Sapiens
Dog-day Cicada Arthropoda Insecta Hemiptera Cicadidae Tibicen Caniculatus
chimpanzee Chordata Mammalia Primate Pongidae Pan Troglodytes
Jackson's Chameleon Chordata Reptilia Squamata Chamaeleon-tidae Chamaeleo Jacksoni
coyote Chordata Mammalia Carnivora Canidae Canis Latrans

 

Fifth Grade - Science - Lesson 23 - Video Enrichment
 

Objectives

View a filmstrip or video featuring a variety of living organisms.

Note five to ten organisms of particular interest.

Discuss the characteristics and classification of the noted animals.

Create and establish criteria for an invented classification category.

Write an informative paragraph describing the invented classification
 

Materials

TV and videocassette recorder

One of the suggested videos below, or any other similar video
 

Suggested Videos

Australia's Improbable Animals. Washington D.C.: National Geographic Society, 1987. This video features a variety of unusual animals, such as the sugar glider, koala and pygmy possum, and would be especially good for use in today's lesson.

Tropical Kingdom of Belize. Washington D.C.: National Geographic Society, 1986. This video tracks water as it moves through the mountains and jungles of Belize to the barrier reefs of the sea. Along the way, animals that live in Belize are filmed and discussed.

The Wilds of Madagascar. Washington D.C.: National Geographic Society, 1988.

This video was filmed on the Ankarana plateau in Madagascar. Because of the island's isolation, many of the animals that evolved there are unlike animals found elsewhere. If used for today's lesson, students should be able to be creative when classifying animals such as lemurs and geckos.
 

Teacher Background

This lesson, though not central to the concepts covered in Science this month, would provide an enjoyable and enriching experience for the students. It is suggested that you acquire one of the videos listed above and show it to the class. As it is being shown, students note five to ten of the living organisms that interest them most. After the video, students share the characteristics that made the organisms interesting and discuss how they may be classified. Students are then challenged to create their own classification category to include at least four of the noted animals. After sharing their ideas with one another, students write an informative paragraph describing their invented classification.

The videos are available at most public libraries and also at several of the large video rental stores. Most videos are one hour long; if time is limited, you may want to show only parts of the video you select. You may also choose, if time is limited, to show the video during one class period and wait until the next class period to discuss it and engage in the creative-thinking classification exercise.
 

Procedure

Begin today's lesson by asking students what they have been studying this month in science. (classification) Tell them that today, they will have the opportunity to observe a variety of unusual animal life through the viewing of a video. Tell students that as they watch the video, they should have a piece of paper and pencil out and be ready to take notes. When they see an animal they think is especially interesting, they should write its name and make a brief note or two about it. (Because the animals' names are not printed on the screen, instruct students just to spell them phonetically for now.) So that students have some guidance in what to note on each animal, ask: What types of characteristics did you notice that scientists used to classify animals? (what they look like, what they eat, whether or not they have a backbone, whether they breed together or not, whether or not they nurse their young, etc.) Write these answers on the board and tell students that they should note one or two of these things for each animal. They will also want to note what they found interesting about it. Emphasize to students that they should just be noting these facts--jotting down a word or phrase--and not trying to write the information in complete sentences as the film is running. Tell students that they should have notes on five to ten animals by the time the video is over. (If you are only showing a portion of the video, you may want to lower the required number of animals.)

Show the video, then begin the discussion by asking students to share one of the animals they noted on their paper. As students do so, write a list on the board of the animals named. Once the list is a reasonable length, ask students to think about their characteristics. Ask: Which of the animals listed do you think belongs to the order Carnivora (eats flesh)? (Answers to this and all of the following questions will vary depending on which video is shown.) Which animals seem to belong to the class Mammalia? Were any members of the class Insecta or Reptilia noted? Students might remember that wolves, coyotes and some foxes belong to the family Canidae. Ask: Were there any animals noted from the video that also seem as though they might belong to this family? Remind students that the phylum Chordata includes animals with backbones. Ask: Were there any animals noted that don't belong to this phylum? Which of the animals noted seem to be the most similar? Why? Do you think they belong to the same family or genus? Which of the two animals seem to be the most different from one another? Why? Do these two animals seem as though they belong in the same phylum or class?

Tell students that in an example of plant classification used in an earlier lesson, they learned that the grapefruit tree's scientific name is Citrus paradisi. Tell them that this is because the scientists who named the grapefruit thought it tasted so wonderful that they decided to base its species name on the word "paradise." Challenge the students to make up a classification category that includes at least four of the animals from the list on the board. Using the "paradisi" name as inspiration, they should create a Latin-sounding name for this category based on a real word that has to do with the animals in the category. (Encourage them to be creative!) They should also decide whether the category is a phylum, class, order, family or genus. Students should write a list of criteria for animals that are members of this category as well. Once this has been done, ask students to share their invented classifications. Ask them to defend their decision in regards to the level of the classification (whether it is a phylum, class, order etc.). Also, ask: What other animals, not featured in the video, might also belong to your classification, given its criteria?

If students need an example in order to understand what they are being asked to do, provide them with this one, or one of your own invention. The zebra, racoon, chipmunk and Striped Bass could all belong to an imaginary classification called "Stripedensi." Ask: What would the criteria be for membership in this classification? (To belong, the organism must be an animal with stripes on at least one part of its body.) Discuss with students whether this classification would be a phylum, class, order, family or genus. It is expected that because the animals listed so far in the category are so different, the classification would tend to be a phylum or class rather than an order, family or genus. Also ask them to name other animals that could be a part of this classification. (certain domestic cats, tigers, Zebra fish, garter snakes, some butterflies)

After the sharing and discussion, instruct the students to write an informative paragraph describing their classification category. They should include in the paragraph all of the information covered in the discussion above (Write on the board or on chart paper):
 

**Name of the classification category and an explanation for the name
 

**What level (phylum, class, order, etc.) the classification category is
 

**Which four of the animals from the list on the board are members of the category
 

**A description of the criteria for membership in this category
 

**Other animals that could be a part of this category, given its criteria
 

Collect finished paragraphs for grading purposes.
 

Suggested Follow-up Activities
 

Engage in further discussion on the invented classification categories. Students should be put into cooperative groups of five or six and then asked to read their descriptive paragraphs to one another. The cooperative groups could then be asked to answer the following questions:

Which of the invented categories could belong in the same larger classification? (For example, there may be two families that sound as though they could belong to the same order, or two orders that could belong to the same class.) What would be the criteria of this larger classification category? Make up a name for it! Are there any invented phyla that could include one or more of the invented classes? If so, which ones? What about invented classes that could include any of the invented orders?
 

Students could also choose one animal from the list they made of interesting animals featured on the video and do further research on it, to include its classification information.

Bibliography

Student Reference

Coldrey, Jennifer. Discovering Fungi. New York: The Bookwright Press, 1988. (0-531-18170-7)

Diagram Group. Comparisons. New York: St. Martins, 1980.

Facklam, Howard and Margery. Bacteria. New York: Twenty-First Century Books, 1994. (0-8050-2857-9)

Macmillan Illustrated Animal Encyclopedia. New York: Macmillan Publishing Company, 1991. (0-02-627680-1)

Morgan, Sally. Animals and their World. New York: Kingfisher, 1996. (0-7534-5034-8)

Rauson, Mark. Feet, Flippers, Hooves and Hands. New York: Lothrop, 1994.

Schwartz, David M. The Hidden Life of the Pond. New York: Crown Publishers, Inc., 1988. (0-517-57060-2)

Troll's Student Handbook. Mahwah, NJ: Troll Associates, 1992. (0-8167-2525-X)

*Walters, Martin. The Simon & Schuster Young Readers' Book of Animals. New York: Simon & Schuster, Inc., 1990. (0-671-73128-9)
 

Teacher Resource

"Animal Classification." Teacher's Helper, April/May/June 1996, 31-44.

Hirsch, E.D. What Your Fifth Grader Needs to Know. New York: Doubleday, 1993. (0-385-41119-7)

Makhmaltchi, Vivian. Hands On! Science Activities. Mahwah, NJ: Troll Associates, 1992. (0-8167-2592-6)

Lieberman, Lillian. Classification. Palo Alto, CA: Monday Morning Books, 1989. (0-912107-89-8)

Pesiri, Evelyn. Learn to Think. Carthage, IL: Good Apple, Inc., 1986. (0-86653-343-5)

Rosakis, Laurie. Critical Thinking for the Primary Grades. New York: Scholastic Professional Books, 1992. (0-590-49161-X)

________. Critical Thinking for the Middle and Upper Grades. New York: Scholastic Professional Books, 1991. (0-590-49157-1)
 

Videos
Australia's Improbable Animals. Washington D.C.: National Geographic Society, 1987. (0-8051-0528-X)
Tropical Kingdom of Belize. Washington D.C.: National Geographic Society, 1986. (0-8051-0394-5)
The Wilds of Madagascar. Washington D.C.: National Geographic Society, 1988. (0-8051-0763-0)

*Required or strongly recommended