It is essential for students to know that through studying all of the organisms on Earth, biologists have devised ways of naming and classifying them according to similarities in their structures.
● The study of how scientists classify organisms is known as taxonomy.
● The modern classification system uses a series of levels to group organisms.
● An organism is placed into a broad group and is then placed into more specific groups based on its structures.
● The levels of classification, from broadest to most specific, include: kingdom, phylum, class, order, family, genus, and species.
● The more classification levels an organism shares with another, the more characteristics they have in common.
● While scientists currently disagree as to how many kingdoms there are, many support a five kingdom (Plants, Animals, Fungi, Protists, Monerans) system.
● Organisms are placed into kingdoms based on their ability to make food and the number of cells in their body.
Phylum (pl. phyla)
● The first major division for each kingdom
● In the Plant Kingdom, phyla are sometimes referred to as divisions.
● Plants are normally divided into two groups: vascular and nonvascular.
● In the Animal Kingdom, there are 35 different phyla. These phyla can be divided into two groups: vertebrates and invertebrates.
Class, Order, Family
● These levels become even more specific and will include fewer organisms that have more in common with each other as they move down the levels.
Genus (pl. Genera)
● Contains closely related organisms.
● The genus is used as the first word in an organism’s scientific name.
● Consists of all the organisms of the same type which are able to breed and produce young of the same kind.
● The species is used as the second word in an organism’s scientific name.
● The scientific name of an organism is made up of its genus and species.
● It is written in italics (Genus species) with the genus capitalized.
● For example, Canis lupus is the scientific name for the wolf and Pinus taeda is the scientific name for a loblolly pine.
To extend the student’s knowledge, students may develop and use Kingdom models to determine the characteristics associated with each Kingdom:
● Protists are mostly single celled organisms (unicellular) but some protists are multicellular.
● Protists cells are eukaryotic (have nuclei).
● Some protists are animal-like (heterotrophs - need to eat other organisms) and some are plant-like (autotrophs - use sunlight to produce food).
● All plants are made of many eukaryotic cells.
● Plants are autotrophs - they use sunlight to make their food
● Almost all fungi are multicellular organisms.
● Fungi cells have nuclei (eukaryotic).
● Fungi do not move to get food, but they do need to absorb nutrients from other organisms (either living or dead).
● Animals are multi-cellular organisms.
● Animal cells have nuclei (eukaryotic).
● Almost all animals move to get food. Animals are heterotrophs - they eat other organisms to get energy
The objective of this indicator is to develop and use models to classify organisms based on the current hierarchical taxonomic structure (including the kingdoms of protists, plants, fungi, and animals). Therefore, the primary focus of assessment should be for students to develop and use models that represent how biologists have devised ways of naming and classifying organisms based on similar structures. This could include but is not limited to students constructing models of a species’ taxonomic structure. Students should be able to use a model of the kingdoms to identify the key characteristics of an organism.
In addition to develop and use models, students should ask questions; plan and carry out investigations; analyze and interpret data; use mathematics and computational thinking; engage in argument from evidence; construct explanations; obtain, evaluate, and communicate information; and construct devices or define solutions
6.L.4A Conceptual Understanding: Life is the quality that differentiates living things (organisms) from nonliving objects or those that were once living. All organisms are made up of cells, need food and water, a way to dispose of waste, and an environment in which they can live. Because of the diversity of life on Earth, scientists have developed a way to organize groups of organisms according to their characteristic traits, making it easier toidentify and study them.
Taxonomy Review Video: Shout out of thanks to Danielle Hamilton and her students at W.P.M.S.
Planet Bob: Why we name things
PRACTICE YOUR KINGDOM KNOWLEDGE WITH THIS SORT MAT