Before/Engage: (10 minutes)
To activate prior knowledge: For the lesson starter, ask the students, "If I told you to go to the library and get a copy of Moby Dick, how would you know where to find the book?"
Have students share their answers at their table and determine which answer is BEST. Then, ask each group their answer. Record on the board or on the ELMO/projector/interactive whiteboard.
Then, ask questions to help guide others to the conclusion that the books are organized according to the genre and author. They each have a number that helps you locate the book.
Finally, ask what is the advantage of having a classification system when you have a large collection of something? Discuss with the students.
In biology, explain that there are billions of extinct species and approximately 8.7 million extant species alive on earth today. Ask the students, "Can you remember 8.7 million details on a topic?" After taking answers, probably not. Because organizing extinct and extant organisms is critical to understanding many concepts in biology, a classification system was developed by a Swedish botanist named Linnaeus. Then, show the students a presentation or video (Bozeman Science Classification of Life or Bozeman Science The Three Domains) that describes taxonomy and the history of taxonomy. Have them take notes on the taxa and how they are organized. (20 minutes)
**Tip: Give the students a saying to help them remember the taxa in order from largest to smallest. For example, "Did King Phillip come over for good soup?" (domain, kingdom, phylum, class, order, family, genus, species)
After reviewing the material with the class through questioning, explain to the students that they will develop a model of Linnaeus' six kingdom classification system.
If students are not already divided into regular lab groups, divide students into groups. Have them assign each group member a role located on the “Nailing” Down Classification Chart handout. (i.e. Leader, Recorder, Reporter, Monitor)
Then, give each group their baggie of fasteners. Tell them that they will organize a "6 Kingdom Classification System" for these "organisms." Let them spread the fasteners out on their table. Have them compare and contrast the fasteners and use their shared characteristics to group the fasteners into separate groups.
Next, give each group a copy of the organization chart. Ask the students, "What language is used to name most of the taxa in biology?" You will need to use this "language" to create names for your fastener taxa.
Finally, have the students complete their 6 Kingdom Classification System. As the students work, circulate around the room and conduct formative assessments of each group's work. If a group appears stuck, ask them questions to help guide them to a conclusion. (30 minutes)
To close the lesson, each group should give a 2-minute informal oral presentation of their classification system and describe how organisms are classified based on shared characteristics.
After each group has explained their classification model, each group determines conclusion questions for the activity. If time allows, the answers to the conclusion questions can be discussed using a whole class discussion format OR the students could simply turn in the questions for grading. Students could also design a more formal presentation or video presentation of their classification model.