Teacher Christie Schneider

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Teacher Christie Schneider

    Teacher: Christie Schneider

    Class: Middle School Life Science

    Date: November 22, 2005 thGrade Level: 7 Grade

    Room Number: 164

    Topic: Classification with dichotomous keys

    Time: 15 minutes

; Instructional Goals and Rationale:

    o 7.N.2.1. Students are able to conduct scientific investigations using given


    ; When viewing the dichotomous key, students are following a procedure

    with only two steps to it. They will analyze the benefits of investigating

    objects using the dichotomous key. The process is safe because the jelly

    beans are contained in a plastic baggie for viewing. This prepares the

    students for knowing how to follow processes and perform it in a safe way.

    However, the students can eat the jelly beans if there is a problem with

    identification of the flavor.

    o 7.L.1.3. Students are able to classify organisms by using the currently recognized


    ; The students will learn about the classification system developed by

    Linnaeus, binomial nomenclature, and apply it by using dichotomous keys

    as practice. It helps them understand the origination of organisms by using

    their scientific names, made from the genus and species category. This

    will help them prepare for identifying organisms when using other tools

    for identification in their later years.

    ; Objectives:

    o Cognitive

    ; The students will recognize Linnaeus as the father of classification and

    note that scientists still use his process for identification today.

    ; The students will understand what binomial nomenclature is and what a

    dichotomous key is.

    o Affective

    ; As the students identify the jelly bean, it will help them know if they want

    to eat that specific flavor of jelly bean or not. In the future, students will

    come across jelly beans again and they might remember this lesson and

    think about the coloration of the jelly bean before they eat it.

    o Psychomotor

    ; The students will conduct an activity to learn the process of how to use a

    dichotomous key without having to worry about scientific names.

    ; Procedure:

    o Students will be sitting in their desks quietly and will have only a pencil out on

    their desk in front of them.

    o Hook Questions: ‘What things do you organize at home?’ Which will led us into

    a review of classification, a scientific way to organize things.

    o We will discuss briefly who the originator of classification was: Aristotle started

    the idea, but more importantly Carolus Linnaeus, since he developed the process

    of binomial nomenclature, a two-word naming system for identifying an organism

    that scientists still use today. The reason for using Latin words is because of

    language barriers. For example, a puma, cougar, and mountain lion are essentially

    the same organisms, but depending where it is in the world, it gets a different

    common name. Using the scientific name in Latin helps differentiate between two

    similar organisms and gives less chance for confusion.

    o We will then review the classification chart: kingdom, phylum, class, order,

    family, genus, species. Have an example to look at: lion.

    o Being able to use the chart can be helpful to know, but there are two tools to use

    when identifying organisms: field guides and dichotomous keys. (Show examples

    of both.) Today, we will be using a dichotomous key without using scientific

    names, but will progress to it later in the week.

    ; Assessment:

    o From National Science Teachers Association (NSTA), I found a hand-out on

    Harry Potter and the Dichotomous Key. I will go through the process of

    describing what a dichotomous key is.

    o I will then show them a few examples of dichotomous keys that other seventh

    graders are using right now.

    o Once they understand what it looks like and has an idea of what to do, I will spark

    their interests even more by reading a section of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s

    Stone to them (pp. 103-104).

    o After that, I will have the 5 students split up into a group of 2 and a group of 3

    and hand them a bag of jelly beans, a dichotomous key, and a paper to write their

    discoveries on. They will be warned that these are indeed, Bertie Bott’s Every

    Flavor Beans (show the box), so we might want to know what each bean is before

    we taste it. (***note: these are actually Jelly Belly Jelly Beans, and all are safe to

    eat; it is to keep the suspense in the activity.)

    o I will let them know that I made a few changes to NSTA’s key because they were

    not as specific as they should have been with the key. I will advise them to keep

    the beans in the bag. However, if there is a discrepancy that comes up among

    them, I will allow students to taste-test the beans, just to make sure their answers

    are correct.

    o We will then go through one example together with the brown spotted jelly bean

    and work through the process, being sure to write each step we go through: 1c,

    24b, etc. so I know they are following the two-step (sometimes 3-5 steps,

    depending on the options) process. Cappuccino jelly bean is our example. o After 3-5 minutes of using the key, they will notice they have 2 jelly beans that

    are not on the key to identify. If time allows, they will create a two step process to

    identify the two unknown jelly beans. They will have to taste test them to know

    the difference and their choices will be between coconut and French vanilla. o At the end, we will discuss why it was a good idea to use the dichotomous key

    first instead of eating the jelly bean without caution. Answer: So you know what

    kind you will eat instead of getting an awful surprise! (Making a connection with

    the affective objection.)

    ; Closing:

    o It may look like you know your organism, but sometimes it is best to take the time

    and research it first before you think you know the answer.

    o For homework, they will get a handout to work on their own with a different

    dichotomous key, but with animals they are familiar with. They will still need to

    write down the process of how they get to their answer, and they need to write

    down the scientific name next to the organism.

    ; Materials

    Posters seven categories of classification and vocabulary

    Examples of dichotomous keys

    Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone book

    1 box of Bertie Bott’s Every Flavor Beans

    Baggie with 15 assorted jelly beans

    Jelly Bean Dichotomous key/ worksheet

    Homework worksheet

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