Its All Relative
Author: Al Janulaw
Overview: In this lesson, students find pictures of living things and arrange them in collages, categorizing them according to which they think are more closely related to which.
Grade Span: 35
Collect magazines over time or put out an alert for them
Gather other materials
Time: One class period
Magazines, especially nature periodicals and National Geographic, have many pictures of living things. Most pictures will probably be of vertebrates and arthropods, with the odd jellyfish thrown in. It is desirable that students recognize that vertebrates and arthropods share characteristics within each group. The central idea of this lesson is that we often compare and classify organisms by their appearance. Later in their school careers, they will learn that appearances can be deceiving, but at the 35 grade level they need to know that the first thing we consider in classification is how something looks.
Teacher Resources: Nature and environmental magazines
Explore these links for additional information on the topics covered in this lesson:
In deciding which organisms are most closely related, students will make some decisions with which you may not agree. Use your discretion in deciding how much correction and direction you want to give them. Keep in mind that this exercise is about students learning a process, and so the product may not need to be perfect for the lesson to be a success.
Vocabulary: classify, related
Have students do further research to determine the validity of their classification schemes.
Home | What's new | About UCMP | History of Life | Collections | Subway