Life Cycle - Organisms (6A)
Post Lab 

  • Evaluating the kingdom classification system.
  • Comparing classification and taxonomy.
  • classification
  • kingdom
  • morphology
  • taxonomy
  • reference books
  • internet
  • worksheet

Students research a large group and give an oral report.

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Classification is one of the processes used by scientists in their search for explanations. In classifying, things that are similar with respect to a given feature or set of features are grouped together. Classification systems used to place things in a group are determined by humans. Thus, there may be many types of groupings. Early classifiers of plants and animals grouped them in entirely different ways from how they are classified today. Classification is a means of organizing knowledge. This process often indicates order where order does not appear to exist. Classification of living things is useful in learning to identify organisms and in acquiring insight into the relatedness of living things.

Classification is important in science because it attempts to discover order in a chaotic world. Classification itself is not a science, only logical divisions to arrange things so that they can be easily identified. Not all characteristics can be used to classify an organism, however. For example, librarians could classify books in two groups, large and small, but this would not help a person to locate a specific book.

Taxonomy is the science of classification, and is usually restricted to biology and paleontology. Taxonomic relationships try to find those characteristics that are natural and of some significance. Modern taxonomy depends upon organisms that reproduce through time. The basic method of taxonomy is to compare and weigh the characteristics of the structures of plants and animals by comparative anatomy or genetic coding. The most recognizable taxonomic unit is a species. The other arrangements include: Kingdom, Phylum, Class, Order, Family, Genus, and Species. Organisms change through time. Many times it can take only a change in one gene to create a different morphological creature.

  1. Nature sometimes does not fit into nice little groups. It is important for students to realize that biologists, zoologists, and paleontologists have not been successful in defining and grouping all organisms. Students by this time should have developed a sense of the different types of organisms. Have students research on a particular organism and have them give an oral report to the class.
  2. Using the internet and/or library have the students research and write a story about one group of organisms. It could be any representative of the 6 Kingdoms. The worksheet may help guide the student get information.
  3. Discuss with students that in their oral report they should address where the organism is classified within the Kingdom system. Students should explore why the organism has been classified in that manner. They should discuss the eating habits, reproduction, habitat, life cycle, and the physical structure of the organism.
  4. If you have scheduled enough time, have students give an oral report. Other students should be taking notes as their class mates give information. By the end of all the oral talks, see if students can find those characteristics that classify the organisms into the 6 kingdom system. They should conclude that eating habits and sexual habits delineate their kingdom. The physical structure helps to classify them into their subgroups, which on this kingdom chart refers to phyla. Make sure that within the class, representatives of the different phyla are included.

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