In order to talk about organisms,
scientists and naturalists had to develop a system to group organisms with
like characteristics. Classification is a means by which objects with similar
characteristics can be grouped together. A system of classification should be
constructed in assisting people to discuss and understand the objects or
animals that are being classified.
A subgroup of a kingdom that
has similar tissue and organ development is called a Phylum. A
Class, Order, Family, and Genus
are grouped according to characteristics determined by zoologists, biologists,
or paleontologists working on that group of organisms. A species is a group of
individuals that can successfully reproduce with each other.
- Ask students to discuss the
characteristics of a dog and write down their responses on the board.
A DOG IS:
short or long haired
4 legged animal
an animal that barks
small or large
has a tail
- Next, ask the students to describe the
characteristics of a poodle. They should list all the characteristics of a dog
plus the characteristics of a poodle: for example curly hair which can be
white, gray, or black.
- Ask students to create an image in their
mind of a tree-like organism that has long, thin needles and cones. Ask them
to tell you something about this unknown organism. The organism that they
describe should resemble a pine tree. Classification helps us predict what
type of object something may be.
- Discuss with students that living
objects are classified into kingdoms, phyla, orders, classes, families,
genera, and species. Stress that the species classification is very important
to the classification scheme of an organism, but it is artificial. Nature does
not always fit our artificial classification. A "Kingdom" is a
grouping of living organisms that have similar eating and reproductive
- Read or have students read Octa and have them list
characteristics of octopi which belongs to the Phylum Mollusca.