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Order (Biology) Teacher Resources
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Youngsters create a list of grocery store items and then work together to categorize them as if they were setting up the shelves of the market. Then they are given a box of miscellaneous objects to practice categorizing. With these two experiences under their belts, you can then introduce them to the biological classification system and the use of a dichotomous key for identifying unknown organisms. The lesson is specific to Kentucky wildlife, but can easily be adapted no matter where you live.
Tenth graders are introduced to the the use of similarities and differences in the classification process. Students will then learn how biological classification represents how organisms are related, with species being the most fundamental unit of the classification system.
For this classification worksheet, students will look at how biological classification began and how scientific names are used in biology. Students will use a table showing the classification of four organisms to answer 10 short answer questions. This worksheet also contains 6 matching questions and 9 true or false questions.
Students explore diverse forms of life by using modern biological classification systems to group animals that are related. Students then study basic scientific groupings like genus, species, mammals, fish, birds, amphibians, and reptiles, and pair different vertebrate animals, identifying their common traits.
Three lessons and five assessments are contained in this material. Various paper shapes are sorted as a simulation of biological classification. Learners gather a list of living things that they are familiar with and design a classification system for them. The third lesson in the series focuses on the outdated kingdom Monera. As long as you teach the more current name for the bacteria, the culturing and examination in this activity is applicable to the taxonomy theme.
The author of this presentation elaborates on the details of insect classification, information apparently required to become a master gardener in the horticulture program at Oregon State University. Though lengthy (110 slides), it is an outstanding collection of photos, graphs, and diagrams to educate the viewer in basic entomology. Not only could this be used as a resource for horticulture classes, it can even stand as an introduction to a college entomology course.
Remind your middle school scientists how fox ear size varies depending on the climate they live in; large ears allow heat loss while small ears keep heat in. Discuss how a cold-blooded animal might try to regulate body temperature. Then split the class into pairs and have them record temperatures at different locations around campus. They relate their temperature readings to where ectothermic animals might hang out. Finally, they relate what they've learned to the placement of solar panels on a building.
Students investigate the effect of temperature on cold-blooded animals, using a 5 x 8 inch index card to represent a dinosaur as their model organism. Students measure temperature changes that occurs at different angles to a light source and apply the importance of maintaining an appropriate body temperature.
Two films are suggested as initiating activities, but you would have to locate them. Nevertheless, there is plenty of material here to provide your biology or ecology classes with a complete mini-unit on freshwater fish species in the Great Lakes system. They examine the biological classification system, use dichotomous keys, and learn anatomical features of fish. Five drawings of unknown fish are given to learners to identify. After the guided practice, learners create their own dichotomous keys. You don't have to necessarily be studying fish to make use of this resource; it is a support for any curriculum on adaptations, biodiversity, or classification.
Investigate the life of bugs and how they interact with the environment in this integrated science and language arts lesson. Young scientists construct mini environments in cages in order to make observations. This data forms the basis of research papers and/or imaginary stories about the insect they collect on the school yard or at home.