Overview


Subject/Sub-Subject: Science/Life Science


Title: The Five Kingdoms - Classifying Organisms and Identifying Characteristics


Summary:

Using a recording worksheet, students classify up to twelve photos of organisms. There is space on the worksheet for listing characteristics of the kingdom.


Understanding Goal

Living organisms can be classified according to their characteristics into one of five kingdoms.

Investigative Question

What characteristics can be identified in the primary sources that help classify the organism into one of the five kingdoms?

Grade(s): 5, K
Audience: General
Learners: General education/special education students inclusive.
Required Vocabulary: N/A
Prior Content Knowledge: N/A
Standards

Virginia Standards of Learning 5.5.4. Essential Knowledge, Skills, and Processes: Students should be able to compare and contrast the distinguishing characteristics of the kingdoms of organisms.

Field Tests

Click on the title to expand the description of each field test

Sources

The Five Kingdoms - Classifying Organisms and Identifying Characteristics

Understanding Goal

Living organisms can be classified according to their characteristics into one of five kingdoms.

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Required Materials

Files

KingdomSortingActivityKey.doc
KingdomsStudentSortingSheet.doc

Directions

Introduction

Step 1 Hand out the student worksheet. Model the activity by choosing one of the photographs to classify with the class. Discuss what characteristics are identifiable in the photographs. Record the photograph number in the proper column; list characteristics of the kingdom in the appropriate box on the worksheet.

Files

Step 2 Teacher can choose to either directly lead students through the photographs one-by-one, or can distribute photos to the students. Instruct students to fill out the worksheet with the type of organism represented in the photos and to give details about what characteristics of each kingdom. Students can work individually, or in small group, or as mentioned earlier, teacher-led. Instruct students to put an "X" into any area on the worksheet where they do not know the information. This will be helpful for the teacher to analyze student understanding after the worksheet has been reviewed and corrected.

Files

Step 3 Using the answer key, hold a class discussion to correct the worksheet and to review the characteristics of the kingdoms.

Files

Step 4 Collect the worksheets and review for understanding. Note where students marked "X" in areas where they were unsure of responses and where additional corrections were notated.

Best Instructional Practices


Understanding Goal

Living organisms can be classified according to their characteristics into one of five kingdoms.

Investigative Question

What characteristics can be identified in the primary sources that help classify the organism into one of the five kingdoms?


Analysis of Student Learning


Most students had difficulty with the single-celled organism identification. Plants, animal, and fungi classification were easier for students to correctly identify and to list characteristics.


Analysis of Best Instructional Practices (learn more)

Teaching for Understanding Teaching for Understanding(learn more)

Learners Explain Thinking

By analyzing and then classifying the photographs into the kingdoms, students are using knowledge accumulated during the living systems unit. Listing characteristics of the organisms provides details as to why the organism is classified into the specific kingdom.

Reflections and Recommendations


Modeling is important to clarify the directions for the activity. The first time I did this activity, I tried to use all 12 photographs and there was not enough time. In the future, I plan on selecting five to start with (teacher-led) so that one photo will be classified into each of the five kingdoms. Then, students can continue the activity by choosing other photos for an allotted amount of time before the whole class discussion and review of answers. In addition, the photos/diagrams relating to the moneran and protist kingdoms may require some explanation or details from the teacher to assist students with classification.

Credits

Authors and Contributors

Diane Jones
Nottingham Elementary School, Arlington County Public Schools, Virginia