Nuts and bolts classification: Arbitrary or not? (Grades 6-8)
Author/Source: ENSI (via Understanding Evolution)
Overview: Students working in teams classify furniture, share their categories and rationales, then note how their different schemes are perfectly logical and useful, but they vary and are completely arbitrary. They then see how living organisms are classified, and note how these natural groupings reflect the same ancestral relationships in the same nested hierarchies, regardless of the different criteria used. This concept is exemplified using primate phylogenetic trees.
Concepts: This lesson covers the following concepts:
- Anatomical similarities of living things reflect common ancestry.
- Classification is based on evolutionary relationships.
- Evolutionary relationships may be explored on branching cladograms.
Grade Level: 6-8
Time: 40 minutes
Teacher Background: Explore these links for additional information on the topics covered in this lesson:
Lesson URL: https://web.archive.org/web/20180308144110/http://www.indiana.edu/~ensiweb/evol.fs.html (you will need to search for the lesson title on this page)