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Lesson Plan

Taxonomic Keys by ECSDM

Grade Levels

Intermediate, 7th Grade


Description

In this lesson, students will be introduced to a taxonomic key dealing with geography. The teacher will assist the students with the taxonomic key and then attempt to use a previous lab to have the students develop their own taxonomic key.

Objectives

Cognitive –

  • Write out 5 observations of an organism.
  • Define and describe a dichotomous key.

Affective

  • Offer opinions as to characteristics of the six animals.
  • Communicate with teacher attentively.

Psychomotor –

  • Construct a sorting chart that classifies a set of objects based on observable characteristics.
  • Draw out a copy of their dichotomous.

Materials/Web Resources

SMART Board, laptop, LCD projector, student directed sorting objects (a set of six animals in a bag), Sorting Chart Lab, Classifying the States worksheet, map.

  • Classify the States Worksheet.doc
  • Station W - Generic Sorting Chart.doc
  • Taxonomic Key Notes.notebook
  • Procedure

    Capture Attention and Motivate – Day 1

    • How would you classify a sample of living things?
    • What characteristics would you use?

    Preparation for the Lab – Day 1

    • Students will come up with answers to the Do Now question.
    • Teacher will write them down on the overhead.
    • Teacher will have the students discuss each response.
    • Teacher will have students put these examples in their notebooks.

    Lab –

    • Teacher will be giving the students a sheet of paper and a set of six animals in a bag.
    • Teacher will tell the students that they will be making a sorting chart based on the observable structures of the animals (no inferences).
    • Teacher will review the ideas of observations and inferences.
    • Teacher will also review the sorting chart from the previous day so that the students can recall the proper conventions.
    • Teacher will start the students and give them the period to complete their chart.

    Closure – Instructional Closure and Setup for Next Lesson – Day 2

    • How did you separate the animals in the bag?

    Capture Attention and Motivate – Day 2

    • Students will pick up a Classifying the States worksheet off the homework table.
    • Students will complete the worksheet.
    • Teacher will review the worksheet with the students, pointing out how the statements show two alternative answers regarding the same characteristic of each state.

    Terminology –

    • Dichotomous key

    Dichotomous Key –

    • The teacher will ask the students how they first divided up the animals into two groups (that is, what characteristic did you write your yes/no question about).
    • The students will respond with their answers.
    • The teacher will ask the students how they divided up the two groups they made into smaller groups (that is, what was the next characteristic did you write your yes/no question about).
    • The students will respond with their answers.
    • The teacher will say that they can make a dichotomous key using their observations and sorting chart answers about the animals.
    • The teacher will make a sample-sorting chart with the students using a combination of the student questions.
    • The students will copy down the teacher directed example in their notebooks.
    • The students will then use one side of their lab to write a dichotomous key.
    • The students will hand in their dichotomous keys at the end of the period.

    Closure – Instructional Closure and Setup for Next Lesson –

    • How would you classify all living things?
    • What characteristics would you use?

    Assessment

  • Completed Lab Form - Day 1
  • Student Example of a Taxonomic Key for Homework - Day 2
  • SMART Board

    The teacher will use the SMART Board on Day 2 with the associated notes to show off the "Classify the States" Worksheet and to help the students develop an example of a taxonomic key from their lab work that they can use to make their own taxonomic key. However, this could be done via an overhead or with the chalkboard.


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