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The Tree of Animal Life activity is a simple, sorting exercise that can help them see a bigger picture. The activity sets the stage for learning about animal taxonomy and introduces the characteristics of various animal groups in a general way. Though the activity doesn’t teach about each animal group’s characteristics in great detail, the process of sorting of atypical examples (e.g., bat, octopus) does spark interesting discussions among students on the differences between animals and how scientists classify them. I’ve conducted the activity with students of various ages.