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Classification of Species

The final set of units for most biology courses is classification. Depending on time, this may include individual units on each of the five kingdoms, as well as individual phyla in the animal kingdom. This unit gives an overview of the three domain system and five kingdom system as well as the reasoning behind how organisms are classified.


Classification of Species Lecture Powerpoint

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Purpose: This lecture begins with some background on the different ways that species are defined, including the biological, morphological, and phylogenetic species concept. The proper formatting and syntax of binomial nomenclature is explained. Next, the major classification systems are covered, including the three-domain system and the five-kingdom system. Students will learn the major characteristics of each of the kingdoms with plenty of examples. Finally, a brief visit is given to each of the phyla of the animal kingdom.

Essential Concepts: species, reproductive isolation, prezygotic, postzygotic, temporal isolation, behavioral isolation, mechanical isolation, gametic isolation, hybrids, punctuated equilibrium, gradualism, biodiversity, binomial nomenclature, scientific naming, three domains, five kingdoms, archaea, bacteria, eukarya, monera, protista, fungi, plantae, animalia, echinodermata, chordata, mollusca, porifera.


Classification of Species Lecture Notes Outline

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Purpose: Taking efficient notes can be a big challenge for many students, especially when working from a Powerpoint lecture. This outline gives students a means to take notes that guides them toward important concepts and avoids the pitfalls of writing word-for-word or simply not taking notes at all. The outline is written as a series of questions, fill-in-the-blanks, or diagrams.

Essential Concepts: species, reproductive isolation, prezygotic, postzygotic, temporal isolation, behavioral isolation, mechanical isolation, gametic isolation, hybrids, punctuated equilibrium, gradualism, biodiversity, binomial nomenclature, scientific naming, three domains, five kingdoms, archaea, bacteria, eukarya, monera, protista, fungi, plantae, animalia, echinodermata, chordata, mollusca, porifera.


Constructing a Phylogenetic Tree

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View the phylogenetic tree activity.

Purpose: This is an activity to teach students how to construct a phylogenetic tree, also called the evolutionary tree of life. An assortment of organisms is given and students will use morphological characteristics to separate them into groups.

Essential Concepts: Phylogenetic tree, cladogram, dichotomous.


Pokemon Classification Project

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View the Pokemon Classification project.

Purpose: This is a good summative assignment for this unit. Students are given a selection of Pokemon, fictitious video game creatures that resemble living organisms. Based on their morphological characteristics and the information they can retrieve from visiting online resources, students will classify each Pokemon into the appropriate kingdom and phylum.

Essential Concepts: Classification, phylogenetic tree, morphology.


Animal Classification With the Blue Planet Series

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View the Blue Planet Animal Classification worksheet.

Purpose: Blue Planet is a series of documentaries made by the BBC prior to the release of Planet Earth. Each episode takes place in a different ecosystem within and around the ocean, ranging from the tidal coasts to coral reefs and even the dark zone at the bottom of the sea. Each episode showcases a wide variety of different animals and is an excellent opportunity to practice classification.

For this assignment, you can choose any episode of the Blue Planet Series. Enable the closed-captions so the kids are able to see the correct spelling of each species, then have them try to accurately classify each. You can check your answers together at the end of the episode.

Essential Concepts: Classification, animalia, porifera, cnideria, platyhelminthes, nematodes, annelida, arthropoda, mollusca, echinodermata, chordata.


Classification of Species Study Guide

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Purpose: This worksheet is a set of vocabulary words and practice questions meant to encourage students to condense their notes into a more manageable form to study from. The questions and vocabulary are taken directly from the lecture Powerpoint for this unit.

Essential Concepts: Species, reproductive isolation, prezygotic, postzygotic, temporal isolation, behavioral isolation, mechanical isolation, gametic isolation, hybrids, punctuated equilibrium, gradualism, biodiversity, binomial nomenclature, scientific naming, three domains, five kingdoms, archaea, bacteria, eukarya, monera, protista, fungi, plantae, animalia, echinodermata, chordata, mollusca, porifera.

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