The Importance of Classifying

This lesson uses multiple methods to lead students in a classification activity.  Students listen to a podcast, view a powerpoint presentation, and complete an activity to classify different fingerprints according to criteria they develop. Students investigate classification in order to understand how we infer relatedness among organisms in our current biological classification system.  Understanding how classification can be difficult and subjective leads students to understand the need to consider the evolutionary basis in how we classify living organisms.

Standards & Objectives

Academic standards
CLE 3002.3.3
Organize ideas into an essay with a thesis statement in the introduction, wellconstructed paragraphs, a conclusion, and transition sentences that connect...
CLE 3210.5.6
Explore the evolutionary basis of modern classification systems.
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Learning objectives: 
  • Students will explain the importance of taxonomy.
  • Students will demonstrate an understanding of taxonomy by providing examples of classification used everyday.
  • Students will also develop a classification system for a set of fingerprints.

Lesson Variations

Blooms taxonomy level: 

Helpful Hints

Materials and Resources:

  • Printed copies of the podcast which contain the transcript to the podcast and some background information on making sense of the research.
  • Printed copies of the fingerprint worksheet.
  • Scissors
  • construction paper
  • glue