Life Cycle - Organisms (4B)
Pre Lab 

  • Understanding the reasons for classification.
  • Comparing and contrasting invertebrates.
  • characteristics
  • classification

Students discuss why it may be important to classify organisms.


In order to talk about organisms, scientists and naturalists had to develop a system to group organisms with like characteristics. Classification is a means by which objects with similar characteristics can be grouped together. A system of classification should be constructed in assisting people to discuss and understand the objects or animals that are being classified.

A subgroup of a kingdom that has similar tissue and organ development is called a  Phylum. A Class, Order, Family, and Genus are grouped according to characteristics determined by zoologists, biologists, or paleontologists working on that group of organisms. A species is a group of individuals that can successfully reproduce with each other.

  1. Ask students to discuss the characteristics of a dog and write down their responses on the board.

A  DOG   IS:

short or long haired creature 
4 legged animal 
an animal that barks 

small or large
has a tail
can bite

  1.  Next, ask the students to describe the characteristics of a poodle. They should list all the characteristics of a dog plus the characteristics of a poodle: for example curly hair which can be white, gray, or black.
  2. Ask students to create an image in their mind of a tree-like organism that has long, thin needles and cones. Ask them to tell you something about this unknown organism. The organism that they describe should resemble a pine tree. Classification helps us predict what type of object something may be.
  3. Discuss with students that living objects are classified into kingdoms, phyla, orders, classes, families, genera, and species. Stress that the species classification is very important to the classification scheme of an organism, but it is artificial. Nature does not always fit our artificial classification. A "Kingdom" is a grouping of living organisms that have similar eating and reproductive strategies.
  4. Read or have students read Octa and have them list characteristics of octopi which belongs to the Phylum Mollusca.

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