Reflection: Modeling Welcome to My Museum (Part 1/3) - Section 4: Student Activity: Designing my Museum


There are many ways to teach taxonomy. The best way is to allow students to experience the method taxonomists use. By actively involving students in the process of classifying animals for display in a natural history museum, they learn how scientific thinking changes as new information becomes available.

It is important not to stifle the thinking process of students by responding too quickly whether they are right or wrong. There are several different arrangements that students can use to classify the specimen cards. All of Aristotle's classification ideas are based on the living thing's habitat so several of the specimen cards could be placed in a number of habitats. Ask open ended questions and allow student to explain their thought process.  Do not tell students whether they are right in their thinking or wrong. Question other students to determine if their thought process was similar and allow them to question/disagree with the other students. Reinforce that taxonomy is based on the information we know at the time and it could change with revised thinking.

  Developing and Using Scientific Models
  Modeling: Developing and Using Scientific Models
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Welcome to My Museum (Part 1/3)

Unit 1: Phylogeny and Taxonomy
Lesson 1 of 5

Objective: Students will compare and contrast the thinking of Aristotle and Linnaeus in classifying organisms.

Big Idea: Today students will travel back in time to 1775 to become students of Carl Linneaus. There, he will assign them the task to remodel the museum created by his predecessor in 1700.

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natural history
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