At one time or another, all students have had to classify something. During this activity, they will use their imaginations to create a classification system for dividing various Arctic-dwelling animals (including the Arctic hare) into categories. Emphasis will then be placed on the Linnaean classification system, which is still used today.

Links with Other Subjects
Language Social Studies (Geography)
Duration

Approximately 45 minutes, not counting student work time.

Preparation

The information relating to this activity is found mainly on the Web site Ukaliq: The Arctic Hare (http://nature.ca/ukaliq). You may need to exploit other resources to obtain information on the different animals you have chosen.

Before conducting this activity in the classroom, you will need to:
visit Ukaliq: The Arctic Hare and read the sections relating to the activity: Characteristics, Naming & Classifying Read More
At one time or another, all students have had to classify something. During this activity, they will use their imaginations to create a classification system for dividing various Arctic-dwelling animals (including the Arctic hare) into categories. Emphasis will then be placed on the Linnaean classification system, which is still used today.

Links with Other Subjects
  • Language
  • Social Studies (Geography)
Duration

Approximately 45 minutes, not counting student work time.

Preparation

The information relating to this activity is found mainly on the Web site Ukaliq: The Arctic Hare (http://nature.ca/ukaliq). You may need to exploit other resources to obtain information on the different animals you have chosen.

Before conducting this activity in the classroom, you will need to:
  • visit Ukaliq: The Arctic Hare and read the sections relating to the activity: Characteristics, Naming & Classifying
  • draw up a list of a few Arctic-dwelling animals (e.g. Arctic fox, polar bear, walrus, Arctic wolf, Snowy Owl), cut out the words so they can be put up on the chalkboard and check the classification of each animal. Consult the example classification table that gives you information on the scientific nomenclature, as well as the example classification system. Note the absence of certain categories: the information pertains only to the aforementioned animals.
If you are not familiar with Linnaean classification (kingdom, phylum, class, order, family, genus and species), seek further information.

Required Materials
  • computer with Internet access
  • paper and pencil

© 2008, Canadian Museum of Nature. All Rights Reserved.

Explain that today you will be talking about Arctic-dwelling animals and the Arctic hare in particular. Ask the students what they know about these animals and list their answers. Answers may include the differences between rabbits and hares, or references to their biology and the climates in which they live.
Explain that today you will be talking about Arctic-dwelling animals and the Arctic hare in particular. Ask the students what they know about these animals and list their answers. Answers may include the differences between rabbits and hares, or references to their biology and the climates in which they live.

© 2008, Canadian Museum of Nature. All Rights Reserved.

During the first part of the activity, students will get into teams and create a classification system that they will use to classify the chosen animals. Encourage them to be creative. They must not use the Linnaean system or even the Internet. Then, ask them to present their classification systems to the class and discuss the pros and cons of each example. You could also discuss Carolus Linnaeus (Carl Von Linné).

Explain to students that Linnaeus is usually regarded as the founder of modern taxonomy and that his classification system is still used today (albeit with a lot of changes). Discuss the fact that organisms are first divided into five kingdoms (Animalia, Plantae, Fungi, Protista and Monera) and then each kingdom is separated into phyla, classes, orders, families, genera and, finally, species.

Then, hand out the sheet of the classification system that you have prepared, or use the example Linnean classification system provided. Ask students to choose an animal and find the scientific name of the species (the Latin name) by answering the questions. To prevent them from simply looking for the name on the sheet, ask them to write down the steps t Read More
During the first part of the activity, students will get into teams and create a classification system that they will use to classify the chosen animals. Encourage them to be creative. They must not use the Linnaean system or even the Internet. Then, ask them to present their classification systems to the class and discuss the pros and cons of each example. You could also discuss Carolus Linnaeus (Carl Von Linné).

Explain to students that Linnaeus is usually regarded as the founder of modern taxonomy and that his classification system is still used today (albeit with a lot of changes). Discuss the fact that organisms are first divided into five kingdoms (Animalia, Plantae, Fungi, Protista and Monera) and then each kingdom is separated into phyla, classes, orders, families, genera and, finally, species.

Then, hand out the sheet of the classification system that you have prepared, or use the example Linnean classification system provided. Ask students to choose an animal and find the scientific name of the species (the Latin name) by answering the questions. To prevent them from simply looking for the name on the sheet, ask them to write down the steps they took to obtain the answer or to explain each one of the required answers.

© 2008, Canadian Museum of Nature. All Rights Reserved.

In conclusion, go over all of the examples of classification that have been touched on during the activity. Bring out the key features of each system and discuss the reasons why the Linnaean system is still used today.

Suggestions for Student Work

Have the students pick four new organisms and create another classification system, which you will correct. Focus attention on the logical sequence of questions.

Expanding the Lesson

To reinforce what has been learned so far, do the same type of activity, but with a different class or phylum. For example, use fish, amphibians or reptiles
In conclusion, go over all of the examples of classification that have been touched on during the activity. Bring out the key features of each system and discuss the reasons why the Linnaean system is still used today.

Suggestions for Student Work

Have the students pick four new organisms and create another classification system, which you will correct. Focus attention on the logical sequence of questions.

Expanding the Lesson

To reinforce what has been learned so far, do the same type of activity, but with a different class or phylum. For example, use fish, amphibians or reptiles

© 2008, Canadian Museum of Nature. All Rights Reserved.

Classification table that gives you information on the scientific nomenclature

Classification table that gives you information on the scientific nomenclature.


© 2008, Canadian Museum of Nature. All Rights Reserved.


Example classification system.

Example classification system. Note the absence of certain categories: the information pertains only to the aforementioned animals.


© 2008, Canadian Museum of Nature. All Rights Reserved.


Learning Objectives

Students will:
  • ask themselves about Arctic-dwelling animals and the Arctic hare in particular
  • use their imaginations to create a classification system
  • learn more about Linnaean classification
  • know how to use a dichotomous classification system
  • consider the advantages and disadvantages of the different classification systems.

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