Friday, 27 January 2012

How many ways to classify?

After using puppets in our previous science session at home, we continued with more cementing of how classification can be done.

Tiger attended a hands-on lecture on taxonomy where he learnt about the complexities of taxonomy in simplified concepts.  The lecturer presented the session in a very hands-on way by having the children put on different types of hats, and to learn about how classification works by using hats as a proxy to the different ways that things can be grouped together.

Back home, we did another quick visual revision of classification with a few home-made cards and lollisticks:

Once the general visual (above) was laid out, I used a piece of yarn to highlight the area (vertebrate) that we will be spending more time on from now.

Using puppets in our previous science session gave us the idea to make more use of the toys Tiger has at home. We gathered all the cuddly toys and puppets into a corner to be sorted out.  It turned out that all the toys in the house happen to be vertebrate!

The classification exercise gave us many opportunities to discuss the various characteristics of each type of vertebrate.  It caused Tiger to consider carefully what makes a bird, a reptile, an amphibian, a mammal, and a fish, so that he could put each toy in the correct category.

Tiger did not have much problems with the exercise apart from hedgehog, which succeded to confuse him into thinking of it first as an invertebrate (Tiger thought the hedgehog has no backbone because it can curl into a ball), then as a reptile (I can't remember how or why this particular confusion had happened).  After a few minutes of questions that led him to discover the 'errors of his ways', Tiger realised for himself where the hedgehog should go -- with the mammals.

The lesson concluded with us looking for items around the house that had come from animals.  The food stuff was very obvious, but some of the non-food items offered new learnings for Tiger.

Food from animals
Non-food items from animals

This post is linked up to several blog hops, where you can visit to see what other homeschoolers have been busy with.  It has also been linked to the Homeschool Showcase #92.


  1. I'm so going to borrow your lolli sticks and cards idea when we study classification. Manna for the very visual learners in this house. :)

  2. You did such a good job with this lesson!! Such a fun learning experience for your Tiger :) Thanks for sharing this with us at Sharing Saturday.


  3. Classifying is such a great way to work on higher order thinking in a fun way.

    Thanks for linking to Science Sunday!

  4. Using the lollisticks and cards is such a great idea! Thank you for sharing!

  5. What a cool way to do classification exercises! Wish I had thought of that when raising my three! Will use it for my granddaughter soon. Thank you!

  6. What a great idea and so much fun! Thanks for linking to Fun Sparks. Sorry for the late comment. x

  7. This is fabulous. We've done classification before, but your way looks like a lot more fun. Thank you.

  8. Good stuff! Found it on WUHS showcase!
    Love the idea to find items around the house to classify - items that we ignore or don't think about in that way.

  9. these are great - found you from the Apologia craft pinterest board :)

  10. I wish the file with the words were available for this!


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