Fish Classification and the Dichotomous Key

We had our co-op today, I was leading and between that and Annika I didn't get to take many pictures during the actual lesson. But I thought it was a lesson worth sharing.

The topic was fish. My boys requested to learn more about them- technically they wanted to learn more about their fish- but I couldn't think of good group activities revolving around Raphael and Pictus catfish, a peacock eel and knife fish amongst I went with a lesson I found online about fish of the great lakes.

We started with a discussion about what a fish is and how they can be classified. Then I gave each group of kids a set of 12 cards to sort in anyway they wanted. We had 3 groups and each sorted different ways- by fins, by color pattern and by tail. We discussed other ways they could have been sorted as well.

Then I gave each group a dichotomous key for the Great Lakes Fish Families. We talked about what a Dichotomous Key is and then they went through their 12 fish and tried to id which family it belonged to using the key. They did good- and classified them mostly correct.

Then we sorted the kids by making our own dichotomous key. We started with the question: Is the person a boy or girl? And kept on asking until we had identified everyone. Using characteristics such as hair color, glasses,earrings, eye color- and in the case of my boys who all have blonde hair and blue eyes- clothes patterns and lack of front teeth.

Then we moved on to art.

With fish as the subject.

Using black oil pastel they drew their fish and any other details such as rocks or plants.

Then colored in the fish and background using chalk pastels.

1 comment:

  1. Very nicely done! I like the art fish--they are so vibrant!