Grade: Senior
Subject: Science

#4099. Classification and intro to taxonomy

Science, level: Senior
Posted Mon Jan 28 12:48:14 PST 2008 by Bryan Hall (
easley high school, Easley, SC
Materials Required: pro-board and software
Activity Time: 15-30 minutes
Concepts Taught: taxonomic classification based on similar characteristics

Objectives: Students will be able to group organisms based on similar characteristics. Form and function of traits will be explored.

1. give background info via notes.

Taxonomy: the branch of biology that names and groups organisms according to their characteristics and evolutionary history.
Organisms were classified over 2000 years ago by the Greek philosopher, Aristotle. He grouped animals into land, water, and air dwellers. He also grouped plants into three categories. These were based on different stems.
Is this adequate?
Many new species were discovered and Aristotle's classification was no longer good enough.
Common names were no longer effective either because these differed from different locations. (oak tree, goldfish)
Linnaeus's System
Linnaeus used an organisms morphology (form and structure) to categorize living things.
Levels of Classification
Kingdom, Phylum/Division, Class, Order, Family, Genus, Species
Binomial Nomenclature: a species name has two parts, the genus and the specific identifier (ex. Homo sapiens wise)
Varieties: spitting of species into subsets by botanists (plants)
Subspecies: Zoologists spilt animals into subsets called subspecies.
Phylogeny: Evolutionary history of an organism.

2. using promethean or smart board, have a chart made that has pictures of many different animals.

3. allow one or two students to come forward and (with the help of the class) arrange the animals into groups of thier choice.

4. Then allow different students to come up and organize the animals based on how Linnaeus and Aritstotle would have organized them.

5. After students have finished with this, give the following questions to be completed by themselves or with a partner to be graded.



1. Organize/group these animals in some way, shape or form. There are no right ways or wrong ways. Be able to explain your organization.

2. Organize them again based on how Aristotle would have grouped them. (explain what is in each group and why)

3. Group them based on how Linnaeus would have grouped them. (explain what is in each group and why)