Introduction to Taxonomy
Content/Grade level(s):9th grade Biology
Category: Lesson Plan
Estimate time: 90 minutes
TEKS addressed: TEKS Science: B.8A-C
Key words: Taxonomy, Classification, Characteristics, Categorize
Related domain: None
- “Taxonomy_LP” is the lesson plan outline.
- “Who am I_Animals”includes the animal pictures and a table including all animals for Who am I? in the engage phase.
- “Taxonomy_PPT” is the PowerPoint for the explain phase. The exit ticket is the very last slide of the PowerPoint.
- “Taxonomy_Notes” is the note taking sheet for students.
- “Kingdom_Cards” includes the organism cards needed for the kingdom sorting activity in the elaborate phase.
- “Kingdom_Table” is the worksheet for the kingdom sorting activity in the elaborate phase. The worksheet is a table where students identify which kingdom each organism belongs to. Students record the important clues for placing the organism in a specific kingdom.
Engage (12 min)
Students play “Who am I?” to discover what animal they are. A picture of an animal is taped to the back of each student. Students must identify what animal they are by asking other students. The questions must be phrased only for yes or no answers (e.g. “Do I have a backbone?” or “Do I have fur?”). To facilitate mixing, students must move on to a different partner after three questions. To encourage investigation, students are only allowed one chance to identify their animal. Students are told to act as scientists in that they research and gather data to support their claim. A scientist’s reputation would be poor if he/she guessed on a whim rather than making claims based on evidence. Refer to “Who am I_Animals” for the animal pictures and a table including all animals. Activity adapted from Hands-on Science: Diversity of Living Things.
Explain (35 min)
Students take notes from a PowerPoint presentation on taxonomy, the scientific classification of living things. Students learn about the hierarchical classification system of taxonomy and the organisms that belong to each kingdom.
Elaborate (38 min)
In groups of 2-3, students work on a kingdom sorting activity. Students sort through pictures of organisms that include a short description or riddle. They must find which kingdom each organism belongs to. Students record what clued them in for each organism by completing the kingdom sorting table. Students use their notes from the explain phase to help them with the activity. The teacher goes over the kingdom table after the activity is completed.
Evaluate (5 min)
Students complete a one question exit ticket over identifying similar characteristics among organisms. Students complete the exit ticket on a small piece of paper.