The Tree of Animal Lifeby: Stan Braude

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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.

  • Elementary
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Reviews (2)
  • on Thu Apr 14, 2011 3:53 PM

Inexpensive toy animals and a color poster are all that one needs to learn how animal characteristics are used in a system of classification. This article highlights a way to teach animal classification to third through fifth graders, but the author provides modifications for teachers wanting to introduce this concept to students in kindergarten through second grade. As a result of this activity students gain practice in several related process skills including: sorting, classifying, and distinguishing between similarities and differences. The article provides an interesting way to introduce students to 9 taxa (groupings) of the animal kingdom.

Carolyn Mohr  (Buffalo Grove, IL)
Carolyn Mohr (Buffalo Grove, IL)

  • on Mon Nov 26, 2018 7:11 PM

This lesson plan is very detailed and provides a very easy introduction to classifying animals with easy materials like cheap toy animals and poster board. There are many steps that involve a lot of bloom's taxonomy and aligns well with standards like analyzing, sorting, and distinguishing. This also includes a vocabulary word wall and sorting worksheets. The assessment portion is a little weak and I think would not show the skills they learned very proficiently.

Victoria W
Victoria W

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