3 IntroductionThe following lessons were implemented within a simultaneouscommunication sophomore Biology class within a high school for thedeaf. The students within this class ranged in age from Thetime frame for this unit was approximately two weeks. Includedwithin this time frame was preparation time, as well as the timeneeded to create the newly discovered organism.The idea for these lessons was inspired by a unit created byMary K. Bechold of Freehold Boro High School, Freehold, NJ.Specifically, the phylums and classes to be researched by thestudents, the traits within these phylums and classes to beresearched, and portions of the rubric were adapted from Ms.Bechold’s lessons. A link for Ms. Bechold’s lessons can be obtainedin the reference section of this document.
5 Goals Within the following lessons students will attempt to classify a newly discovered organism. This new organism will contain traitsthat would allow for it to fall into a number of different phylums andclasses. It is the responsibility of each student to label thekingdom, phylum, and class that they feel best describes theirorganism.The students will also create a PowerPoint Presentation thatwill educate their classmates on this newly discovered organism.A diagram of the organism will also be created by each of thestudents. A rubric will be presented so that the students arefully aware of the teacher’s expectations.
7 ObjectivesSWBAT select a phylum and class for their organism that willcorrespond with each of the provided traits, and list these phylums and classes on the provided worksheet.- SWBAT research each of the selected phylums and classes, and indicate their findings under the “characteristics of phylum/class” column of the provided worksheet.- SWBAT construct their “newly discovered organism” based upon the information acquired during their Internet searches.- SWBAT classify the kingdom, phylum, class, genus, and species that they believe the organism belongs to.- SWBAT create a PowerPoint Presentation to display their findings of the newly discovered organism.- SWBAT give a presentation on their newly discovered organism using the Smart Board.- SWBAT objectively evaluate the presentations of their classmates using the provided evaluation sheet.
9 StandardsThese lessons adhere to the following New Jersey Core Curriculum Content Standards:Standard 1.3 – All students will utilize arts elements and arts media to produce artistic products and performances.Standard 5.1 (Scientific Processes) – All students will develop problem-solving, decision-making and inquiry skills, reflected by formulating usable questions and hypotheses, planning experiments, conductive systematic observations, interpreting and analyzing data, drawing conclusions, and communicating results.
10 StandardsStandard 5.2 (Science and Society) – All students will develop an understanding of how people of various cultures have contributed to the advancement of science and technology, and how major discoveries and events have advanced science and technology.Standard 5.4 (Nature and Process of Technology) – All students will understand the interrelationships between science and technology and develop a conceptual understanding of the nature and process of technology.
11 StandardsStandard 5.5 (Characteristics of Life) – All students will gain an understanding of the structure, characteristics, and basic needs of organisms and will investigate the diversity of life.
13 Unit Overview Days 1-4 – Lesson Preparation Day 5 – Lesson introduction, selecting phylums and classes for each trait of the newly discovered organism, begin researchDay 6 - Complete research, begin construction of creatureDay 7 – Complete construction of creature, select a kingdom, phylum, class, genus, and species for organism
14 Unit OverviewDay 8 – Create a PowerPoint Presentation to educate classmates about the newly discovered organismDays 9 & 10 – Present PowerPoint Presentations using the Smart Board
16 Background Information Prior to beginning the lessons, in which the students would begin to classify their newly discovered creature, it is necessary to provide them with an introduction to classification.Within this preparation the students would be asked to define the word classify, and also to label things around them that are classified (grades within schools, aisles within a grocery store, etc.)Linneaus’ and Aristotle’s methods of classification would also be discussed.
17 Background Information One activity that I implemented to illustrate how scientists classify living organisms was illustrated by providing the students with different types of beans. The students worked with a partner to classify the beans using any rule they wished. The students began with one group, which they divided into two. They continued to divide the groups until there were eight groups.A sample of this division can be seen on the right side of this slide.The purpose of this activity was to display that scientists begin with very broad traits and move to very specific traits to classify organisms.
18 Background Information This activity was then related to a scientist’s use of classification beginning with the most broad (kingdoms) and moving towards much more specific traits (species).After the students had complete their classifications, each set of partners labels the rules they used for their methods of classifying. The purpose of this activity is to display that any rule can be used within classification as long as the person doing the classifying continuously adheres to that rule.
20 ProblemThe teacher states to the student that they are to imagine that they are scientists who have just discovered a new organism on another planet, in a galaxy far away. It is now their mission to show and present their organisms to the scientific world.The teacher would then provide the students with a table, and indicate that the only information that they have on the creature is information regarding the traits listed on that table. (See Identifying Your Organism slides). At this time any new vocabulary would be discussed.
21 ProblemThe teacher would then state that they will be finding information to go along with these traits and then creating their own organisms based upon this information. The students would be informed that they will be creating a genus and species name for their creature as well at a later time. They would also be informed that they will making a PowerPoint presentation to describe their newly discovered organisms. At this time the teacher would present the students with the rubric that is to be used in grading this project. (See Rubric slides).
23 Materials 10 party cups Labels for the cups Note cards with phylums and classes written on themLaptopsRubricsWorksheet – Identifying Your OrganismPaper to create organismScissorsGlueMarkersCrayonsTextbooksWorksheet – Classifying Your Newly Discovered CreatureSmart BoardEvaluation Sheets
25 Identifying Your Organism Student’s Name __________________________________Name of Organism ________________________________TraitAssigned Phylum/ClassCharacteristics of that Phylum/ClassHow does the organism reproduce? (sexually/ asexually, internal/ external fertilization)How does the organism eat? (sting or attack its prey/wait for food to come to it)What does the organism eat? (plants/animals/ both)
26 Identifying Your Organism – Page 2 TraitAssigned Phylum/ClassCharacteristics of that Phylum/ClassHow does the organism move around? Does it move in water? (fins/float with current/does not move)What type of vision does your organism have? (simple/compound eyes, good/bad sight)What type of body covering does your organism have? (hair/skin/scales)How does your organism protect itself? (sting/teeth/fast moving/camouflage)
27 Identifying Your Organism – Page 3 TraitAssigned Phylum/ClassCharacteristics of that Phylum/ClassIs your organism warm blooded or cold blooded?How is your organism born? (live birth/eggs)What type of skeleton does your organism have? (endoskeleton/ exoskeleton/none)How does your organism breathe? (gills/lungs/ through skin)
29 Rubric for Grading of the Newly Discovered Organism Project Name _________________________________________Important! A rubric is a tool to help you earn a good grade on your project. This project is worth a lot of points, and it is very important that you read this paper so that you know what you are being graded on. It may help you to check off the items as you go along so that you know you have not forgotten anything. If you have any questions please ask!When Completed Item Being Graded Possible Points Points ReceivedWork EthicOn task while_________ researching _________________ Completed worksheet ________On task while making_________ creature ________
30 Rubric for Grading of the Newly Discovered Organism Project When Completed Item Being Graded Possible PointsPoints ReceivedOn task while designingPowerPoint__________ Presentation _______Graded duringpresentationProvided a name for__________ creature _______Provided a kingdom,phylum, and class for__________ the creature _______Labeled reproduction__________ method of organism _______
31 Rubric for Grading of the Newly Discovered Organism Project When Completed Item Being Graded Possible PointsPoints ReceivedLabeled how the animal____________ eats ________Labeled the type of____________ vision ________Labeled type of body____________ covering ________Labeled how theorganism is protected____________ from predators ________Labeled if creaturewas warm blooded or____________ cold blooded ________
32 Rubric for Grading of the Newly Discovered Organism Project When Completed Item Being Graded Possible PointsPoints ReceivedLabeled if organismgives birth to live___________ animals or lays eggs ________Labeled type of___________ skeleton ________Labeled method of___________ breathing ________Appropriate completionof evaluation sheets of___________ classmates ________
33 Rubric for Grading of the Newly Discovered Organism Project When Complete Item Being Graded Possible PointsPoints ReceivedOther ItemsTotal creativity of__________ creature ________Total Points: _______/125 = _______ %Remember…If you have any questions – ask!!
35 Selecting Phylums and Classes The teacher would explain to the students that they will be selecting a phylum and class for each of the traits listed within the first objective.Eleven party cups would be presented to the students, each labeled with a different trait, which are listed on the “Identifying Your Organism” worksheet. Inside each of the cups would be a card with each of the phylum/class combinations. (See following slide for listing of combinations).
36 Phylum/Class Combinations Phylum – PoriferaPhylum – CnidarianPhylum – EchinodermataPhylum – Molluska, Class – Bi-ValvePhylum – Molluska, Class – CephalopodPhylum – Arthropod, Class – CrustaceanPhylum – Chordata, Class – ChondrichthyesPhylum – Chordata, Class – OsteichthyesPhylum – Chordata, Class – ReptiliaPhylum – Chordata, Class - Mammalia
37 Selecting Phylums and Classes The students would select a phylum/class card out of each of the cups that would correspond to each of the traits of their organisms.As the students select a phylum and class for each trait they would write the phylum and class onto the provided worksheet in the “assigned phylum/class” column.
39 ResearchThe students would use their laptops to acquire information for each phylum and class that they selected so that they may complete the provided worksheet. The teacher would the students the following links to help them begin their search:In addition to using those websites given, the students would need to independently find other information on the Internet to complete their research.
41 Construction of Organism After the students have completed their research, they would begin construction of their newly discovered organism.The students would utilize the information acquired during their research to create this organism.The students would be given the choice of how they will construct their organism. They may either use their computers, or use the other materials provided to them including white paper, construction paper, glue, scissors, markers and crayons.
43 Selecting a kingdom, phylum, & class After creating the organism, the students will attempt to find the one kingdom, phylum, and class that they feel their organism best fits into.When selecting the phylum and class they must classify the creature using the traits that appear to be most important.The students are likely to become frustrated with this task, since the creature would be likely to fit into a number of phylums. When this occurs, the teacher would take the opportunity to explain how difficult it is for scientists to classify newly discovered creatures.
44 Selecting a kingdom, phylum & class The students would be reminded that there is no “right” or “wrong” means of classification as long as you can justify the rules that were used.The students would then complete the following worksheet while classifying their organism. (See following slides). The purpose of this worksheet is to assist the students in the process of classification.The students would select a genus and species name for their organism on this day.The students would be reminded that the genus describes the body structure, while the species is often named after the person who discovered the creature.
45 Classifying Your Newly Discovered Organism Worksheets
46 Name ____________________________________ Date ____________________ Classifying Your Newly Discovered Organism 1. What kingdom did you place your organism into? Why did you select this kingdom? What phylum did you place your organism into? Why did you choose this phylum? List the traits that you felt were most important when classifying your organism into a phylum.
47 Classifying Your Newly Discovered Organism – Page 2 5 Classifying Your Newly Discovered Organism – Page How did you decide which traits were more important than others in your classification? What class did you classify your creature into? Why did you choose this class? List the traits that you felt were most important when classifying your creature into a class If you can justify your reasons for classifying your creature in this way, can anyone tell you that you are incorrect?
49 Creating a PowerPoint Presentation The students will then prepare a PowerPoint Presentation, which would contain information regarding each of the different traits of the newly discovered creature.The PowerPoint Presentation would also include the final kingdom, phylum, class, genus, and species selected by each of the students.If students are having difficulties with this task the teacher may suggest that the make a slide for each of the different traits of their creature.
50 Presenting the PowerPoint Presentations Days 9 & 10
51 Presenting the PowerPoint Presentations The students would then present information to their classmates regarding the traits of their newly discovered creatures taken from the PowerPoint Presentations that they had developed.The PowerPoint Presentation would be displayed on the Smart Board so that all of the students may see it, and so that they would gain experience using the Smart Board.The students would also discuss the pictures of the creatures that they had created based upon those traits.
52 Presenting the PowerPoint Presentations The students would then objectively evaluate the presentations of each of their classmates to ensure that all of the necessary components are included within the presentations.The students would be given an evaluation sheet to foster the evaluation of their classmates. (See following slides).
54 Evaluation SheetName of classmate that you are evaluating ____________________________Genus and species name of organism __________________________Item Being Evaluated Yes NoDid he/she label the method of reproduction?Did he/she label how/what the animal eats?Did he/she label how the creature move?Did he/she discuss the creature’s vision?Did he/she discuss the creature’s body covering?
55 Evaluation Sheet – Page 2 Item Being Evaluated Yes NoDid he/she discuss the creature’s ability to protectitself from predators?Did he/she label if the creature is warm blooded orcold blooded?Did he/she discuss if babies are born through livebirth or hatched from eggs?Did he/she label the type of skeleton?Did he/she label how the animal breathers?
57 My ReflectionI was extremely impressed with the amount of effort that each of the students put into these lessons.It was interesting to see how each of the students decided to set up their PowerPoint Presentation. It was also very interesting to see how each of the students decided to create their creature.Some of the students drew their creatures on paper, while others created them using the computer. Those students who created their creatures using the computer were then able to display their creatures on the Smart Board.
58 My ReflectionIt was especially helpful for the students to see the creatures displayed on the Smart Board because it allowed all of the students to clearly see the actual creature that their classmate had described at the same time.Having access to the Smart Board greatly enhanced this project. It allowed those students who were watching the presentations to be given the information twice. They first saw it signed by their classmates, and they were then able to read the information on the screen.
59 My ReflectionThis repeat of information was also helpful to the students due the fact that they were using very technical scientific names since they were discussing the different classifications of their creatures.Through the Smart Board the students were able to see their classmates fingerspell these words, and then were also able to see the printed version of the words on the screen in front of them.In addition, using the Smart Board in this manner allowed for the presentations to be more exciting than if the students had simply stood up, told about their creature, displayed a picture, and then sat back down.
61 ReferencesAnimal diversity web The University of Michigan Museum of Zoology. Retrieved November 30, 2003, fromBechold, M. K. Taxonomic twisters. Ocean Biogeographic Information Systems. Retrieved November 30, 2003, fromHall of taxonomy. Museum of Natural History. Retrieved November 30, 2003, from
62 ReferencesNew Jersey core curriculum content standards, Retrieved November 30, 2003, from the New Jersey Department of education Web site:The phyla of kingdom animalia. Zoology Museum: The Major Phyla. Retrived November 30, 2003, from