Scientific Classification: The Concept of Class
Review the following information with your students, then do the included science activity with your students to increase their understanding of the category of Class in scientific classification.
In the system of scientific classification, the category of Class is placed higher than the category of Order, but lower than the category of Phylum. Therefore, any living things that fall into the same category of Order will also be found in the same class. However, those lving things that fall into the same Phylum do not necessarily fall into the same Class. Those in the same Order will be found in the same Phylum. To better understand how this works, please complete the activity below.
Remind students that living things that belong in the same categories after a particular category will also fall into the same one in that particular category. For instance a man and a woman belong to the same species, therefore they belong to the same categories above species. Ask students to identify whether or not the following living things would belong in the same category of Class. Students may answer "does not belong", "does belong" or "not enough information".
- Gorilla gorilla
- All living things in the Homo genus.
- All living things in the Kingdom of Plantae
- All mollusks
- A fern and a dog
- All species of cats
After doing this activity with your students, discuss the results. Why were some living things able to fit into the Class category together while others weren't? For those that answered "need more information", discuss information that would have been helpful in identifying which Class the living things would or would not be in together.
Upon completion of this lesson plan, students should have a more developed understanding of the criteria that needs to be met in order for living things to be in the same Class using the scientific classification system. This will help students understand the methods used for classifying plants and animals.