Lesson:  Activity 76:  People, Birds, and Bats


Kaylan Duthie

Unit Theme/Course:

SEPUP Ecology




1 Day


Challenge Question:

What kinds of evidence can you use to classify vertebrates?


Students will take on the role of a taxonomist as they apply characteristics of the five major vertebrate classes to a set of mystery organisms.  Students will review a classification chart working from kingdom down to class, specifically outlining characteristics of the major vertebrate classes.  They will then read a series of letters from travelers addressed to a zookeeper and identify which class the animal belongs to.  They will discuss with a group, and then write down individual answers

Learning Objectives

[cognitive, academic, language, socio-cultural]

Assessment Criteria

Students communicate scientific procedures and explanations about classification systems

Students will work as groups of 4 to discuss the set of animals and where they fit into the classification system, as well as writing down personal explanations

Students develop descriptions, explanations, predictions, and models using evidence about classification

Using the evidence from the travel letters and the class descriptions, students will assign the mystery animals to a class, providing their evidence

Scientists formulate and test their explanations of nature using observations

Students use their observations and information from the travel letters as evidence for why an animal should fit into a particular class.




6-8 SYSA

Any system may be thought of as containing subsystems and as being a subsystem of a larger system.

Given a system, identify subsystems and a larger encompassing system (e.g., the heart is a system made up of tissues and cells, and is part of the larger circulatory system).

6-8 INQC


Collecting, analyzing, and displaying data are essential aspects of all investigations.

Communicate results using pictures, tables, charts, diagrams, graphic displays, and text that are clear, accurate, and informative.

6-8 LS1E

In classifying organisms, scientists consider both internal and external structures and behaviors.

Use a classification key to identify organisms, noting use of both internal and external structures as well as behaviors.

6-8 LS3G

Evidence for evolution includes similarities among anatomical and cell structures, and patterns of development make it possible to infer degree of relatedness among organisms.

Infer the degree of relatedness of two species, given diagrams of anatomical features of the two species (e.g., chicken wing, whale flipper, human hand, bee leg).


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