Life Cycle - Organisms (6A)
Pre Lab 

  • Defining classification.
  • Classifying buttons.
  • classification
  • taxonomy
  • buttons
  • metric ruler 
  • worksheet 

Students use buttons to classify.



Organizing (classifying) data is one of the most important skills of a scientist. However, you organize "data" on your own every day whether you are a scientist or not. You probably sort your clothes into drawers, separate your homework by subject and keep your desk clean by separating paper from pencils and pens. There are many different ways to organize data. Some ways work better than others depending on the items to be organized. Words in a dictionary are organized alphabetically, and this makes it very easy to find a word. But what would happen if the local supermarket was organized alphabetically? Chaos, for not only the shopper but the store merchant.

  1. This exercise could be assigned as a homework assignment or you might want to have the children bring to school some buttons that no one is using. This classification exercise has the students carefully choosing characteristics that might help them group the buttons together faster. Biologists and paleontologists call these characteristics "keys," which help group organisms into major groups fairly quickly.
  2. In the post lab, students will compare classification with taxonomy (the science of classification). This exercise is intended to have students develop logical, realistic, and useful characteristics as they separate their groups.

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