Beacon Lesson Plan Library


Timothy Mark Dillehay
Lee County School District


Students classify pre-selected art class items to see how classification methods are created and used. This activity gives students a greater understanding of why and how classification methods are used in science. The scientific method of categorizing is revealed in this lesson.


The student recognizes that patterns exist within and across systems.


-A copy of the diagram for each student (See associated files)
-One copy of Games tree diagram (associated files)
-Copy of the procedures
-Area to write for entire class to view (chalk board)
-2 large boxes
-Craft items: Scissors, scalloped craft scissors, single-hole puncher, triple- hole puncher, masking tape, scotch tape, white out, eraser, staples, stapler, stapler remover, markers, crayons, paint, chalk, paper clip, brad, rubber band, pencil, pen


1. Have materials on hand.
2. Have two large boxes (one on the left end of your teacher counter, and the other on the right end of your teacher counter).
3. Have one box empty, and the other boxed filled with all the craft items.
4. Have craft items in box. (Craft items: Scissors, scalloped craft scissors, single hole puncher, triple hole puncher, masking tape, scotch tape, white out, eraser, staples, stapler, stapler remover, markers, crayons, paint, chalk, paper clip, brad, rubber band, pencil, and pen.)
5. Make class copies of Diagrams in attached file.


1. Begin to pull out the craft items one at a time from the full box. Say the name of each item, describe what it does, and return them to the other box.

2. Continue step 1 until all items have moved from one box to the other.

3. Have the students get out a new sheet of paper and tell them they have one minute to write as many items as they can remember.

4. After one minute, call Time.

5. Ask a student to give you the name of one item that they remember. Take this item out of the box. Have students add this item to their lists as you show it to them.

6. Continue this until all of the items are listed.

7. Next, start a class discussion with the students about the characteristics that the items have.
For example:
1. Some items separate paper (hole punch, scissors).
2. Some items join paper together (brad, tape, staple, paper clip).
3. Some items write (marker, pencil, crayons).
4. Some items erase (eraser, white out).
5. Some items are used up faster than others (tape).
6. Some items are colorful (crayons , marker).
7. Some items are seen in the finished product (i.e. most are).
8. Some items join papers without changing either paper (tape).
9. Some items aren't in the finished product (stapler, staple remover, scissors).

You may except more characteristics from your students. You may wish to have them write these down or make a list on the board. This list will help students in the next step.

8. Read this statement: The smallest group in biological classification is the species. Similar species are collected into a genus. Similar genera are united into a family. Families that are alike are combined into an order. Similar orders are collected into a class. Classes are united into a phylum. Finally, similar phyla are collected into a kingdom. This classification system is created to better organize and understand items in science.

9. Write this list on the board in a vertical fashion: Kingdom, Phylum, Class, Order, Family, Genus, and Species. Students need to copy this list in their notes.

10. Explain to students that they are going to investigate how and why classification systems are created.

11. Draw Page 1A on the board.

12. Ask the class this question: Can you explain to me how I have categorized these items?

13. When a student gives a correct heading, write it in the heading on the tree diagram for Games.

14. Draw an empty tree diagram on the board (Page 1B). Talk to the students about using different headings to categorize the items for a Craft Tree Diagram. Circulate throughout the classroom, helping students complete the headings and list.

15. Collect the Craft Tree Diagrams and notes from the lesson.

16. Assess the activity.


Use the completed Craft Tree Diagram, located in the associated file, to assess the studentsí abilities to understand and organize items according to their similar and different characteristics.

Criteria: Acceptable work is all three:

1. A list of craft items from the box (from notes).

2. A completed Craft Tree Diagram.

3. A list of Kingdom, Phylum, Class, Order, Family, Genus, and Species.

Attached Files

Attached documents.     File Extension: pdf

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