A Biology Game To Promote Classification And Observation

Charles T. Buzek Spry School
2400 S. Marshall
Chicago IL 60653
(312) 534-1700

Objectives: Students should learn to observe with an eye to noticing differences and salient characteristics. Also students should be able to communicate these observations in a brief manner. Materials needed: A wide selection of specimens from the lab's collection were used but in ordinary classroom situations any found objects would be useful. Enough 3 by 5 cards for the class. Strategy: Each student is to have a specimen jar in front of them at start of class with a 3 by 5 card. They examine the specimen very closely. They are next asked to write down a careful description of the specimen on the card. When this has been completed students will hand in their cards. The instructor will mix up the cards and then pass them out to the class again. The students will read the cards and then try to match them to the specimen. Performance assessment: For each individual student, performance can be measured by the success they have in matching their card to the appropriate specimen. Overall class performance should not be less than 90%. Conclusions: Students will need to observe their specimen and very carefully note those characteristics which are significant and may not be confused with the other specimens. Students that have difficulty matching their cards will learn what they would need to do in order to make their description clearer. It will also be seen that a system for describing organisms needs to be succinct and less cumbersome. Again, this is an exercise that points out the need to classify and how to go about it in a way that will enlighten rather than confuse.
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