Reflection: Coherence The Animal Kingdom: Vertebrates (Day 1) - Section 3: Explore


During this lesson, students read about reptiles and report that birds are reptiles because reptiles are "vertebrates that have scales on at least some part of their body, leathery or hard-shelled eggs, and share a number of other features." This brings confusion into today's lesson as we have birds grouped together in their own separate phylum. 

Here' an example of a conference where this realization came about: Birds are Reptiles? Following this conversation, these students and I looked into this further and found that biologists use two types of classification systems: the Linnaean and the phylogenetic. 

According to the ASU School of Sciences, "The Linnaean system was developed by Carolus Linnaeus in the 1730's. In the Linnaean system, organisms are grouped by characteristics regardless of their ancestry. So a reptile is an animal that is ectothermic and has scales, and birds would not be reptiles. In the 1940's, a biologist named Willi Hennig came up with another classification system that he called phylogenetics. In this system, organisms are grouped only by their ancestry, and characteristics are only used to discover the ancestry. So a reptile is any animal descended from the original group called reptiles, and birds (as well as mammals) would be reptiles."

To bring coherence to the classification of vertebrates, I explain what this group of students and I found to the rest of the class! 

  Coherence: Confusing Classification Systems
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The Animal Kingdom: Vertebrates (Day 1)

Unit 2: Ecosystems
Lesson 17 of 28

Objective: SWBAT classify vertebrate animals into phylums according to certain physical similarities.

Big Idea: In this lesson, students research the vertebrate animal kingdom using an online resource. Then, each team of students create a Powerpoint Presentation to present information on the vertebrate phylums.

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Science, animal (Classification), global warming, abiotic factors, ecosystem, written summary, animal, Vertebrates, characteristic, decomposition, biotic
  40 minutes
student researching
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