Thursday, October 2, 2008

Finished classification project

We finished our classification project last week. I put each collage into a sheet protector and made them our title pages for the respective sections of our nature commonplace book. Each section corresponds to a section in the Handbook of Nature Study.

I even found an online classification game that the kids had fun with. They are excited about their new knowledge and wanting to apply it whenever possible.

Curiously, I found this quote in Comstock's book:

Nature-study does not start out with classification given in books, but in the end it builds up in the child's mind a classification which is based on fundamental knowledge; it is a classification like that evolved by the first naturalists, because it is built on careful personal observation of both form and life. (p. 6)

My friend is teaching Mammal Menagerie for our co-op, a program she got from a relative that works for the public school system. It comes with a video, newspapers, and other activities. One of the first things ds#2 did was to place a list of mammals into their appropriate Orders. This did not have the same appeal at all as our basic classification activity did. The kids found it interesting, though, that our large animal encyclopedia was organized by kingdom, then phylum, then class, and then order. That made it easy to find what we were looking for and the kids had fun seeing what other mammals were in each order.

To me, that was the key take-home message--that classification is a way to group all living things and that this system is used even in the books in our home. To be required to learn the various mammal orders demonstrates the point about "book" classification, and about "stuffing facts" into kids. How much more meaningful it is to discover these things through our own observations.


Makita said...

A great reminder... thank you! I'll have to check out the game. :D

Laura said...

What a wonderful project! I love the classification game as well. Thanks once again.

Anonymous said...

Great job! Love it! And thanks for sharing the link. I know it will come in handy. :)

keri said...

Anna Botsford Comstock has some great quotes!

Cindy said...

Love this! I'm enjoying the rest of your blog, too!

Shannon said...

Beautiful projects! I'm putting these on a list of fun-to-do things. :)

texasmcvays said...

Thank you so much for posting this item. I wanted to do a fun & simple classification project with my kids that they could all do and this will fit the bill. Do you think I could attach file folders to the poster board? I am going to add your site to my favorites for science ideas, as an liberal arts major I need all the help I can get!

Kris said...

Actually these picture were glued onto 8.5 x 11 paper. This project would work well as a lap book with a fold out such that you have 5 sections to work with.

FYI, the last few pages of the book discusses evolution--easy enough to end book before this.

themcvays said...

We are getting ready to start biology that will strech about one year and I had some questions about your project. Are those sheets individual pieces of paper or is it a poster board? Is there anything underneath them such as information about the Kingdom etc... Did you have each child complete their own project or did they work on it as a team. Thank you very much for your website as a science challenged mom I know you are a great source for projects and books! K @ Roosterhill

themcvays said...

Blog address:

sorry I use my e-mail address so I could receive your comments.

Kris said...

Hi K! This project ds#1 and ds#2 worked on together. They actually are glued on to 8.5 x 11 pieces of paper, so the pictures they cut out were not that big. They wrote the animal type and some characteristics randomly in the white spaces between the pictures.

I recently saw a classification project using a trifold presentation board and pockets. Hmmm, was it at school for us? If I find it I will send you the link.