Reflection: Student Ownership Biological Classification - Day 2 - Section 3: Explore


Although we live in the age of technology, where every answer to a "trivia" question (like biological classification categories) can be found with the click of a button, I still find believe it is useful to teach students the use of mnemonics.

Mnemonics are memory devices that help students recall large pieces of information. Mnemonics make the material easier to recall because they create associations and give the brain a "map" to find the information that needs to be recalled. Mnemonics can be used for any task that requires memorization, from the simple recall of a grocery list, to the more academic memorization of the steps in the Krebs Cycle.

In this case, do students really need to memorize the categories used for biological classification? No. However, creating the mnemonic is a fun little exercise, and gives them a strategy they can use later on to remember information. 

Creating their own mnemonic makes it more relevant. The classical phrase about King Philip does not really resonate with the students, however, they are much more likely to remember their own phrases:

"Kettle Popcorn cooks over fire, get some!"

"Kenneth picks cranberry oats from green shrubs."

In fact, three years ago these students created and voted on a class mnemonic to remember the elements that occur naturally in living systems, and to this day they will still gladly inform you that these elements can be obtained from the phrase "Christian has one new purple sweater."

  Create Your Own Mnemonic
  Student Ownership: Create Your Own Mnemonic
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Biological Classification - Day 2

Unit 8: Evolution
Lesson 15 of 17

Objective: Students will be able to explain the Linnaean system use it to classify living organisms according to a variety of common features.

Big Idea: Ideas about how things are classified prompt questions about relationships.

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17 teachers like this lesson
Science, Genetics, Evolution, fossil record (Evolution), natural selection (Evolution), Biological Classification, fossils, genetic drift, cladistics, mutations, embryology
  55 minutes
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