With over 8 million known species of animals on Earth and growing, scientists must start by classifying them as vertebrate or invertebrate. Students must learn to differentiate between the two in order to dig deeper into the animal kingdom.
Though all animals with a backbone are classified as vertebrates, they are further classified into 5 groups because different organisms vary in how they look and function since they have different inherited information.
Just as scientists re-evaluate data based on new criteria, during this followup lesson on classifying, students classify seashells by using print and electronic media to collaboratively revise their original classification data .
It is critical for students to "remember" that their observations serve them well and lead to questions and problems that can be investigated in a scientific way. This lesson provides the space and interest to explore and question.
In order to study organisms, scientists examine and observe live specimen. By having hands-on experiences with mollusks, one of the most common invertebrates,students become familiar with some of the many inherited characteristics of clams.