Our Botany study has led us to this neat little word – Taxonomy. No, I’m not referring to the study of taxes folks. I’m referring to the study of the Diversity Of Living Things – more specifically, classification. Taxonomy is all about grouping and naming living things. When studying the Plant Kingdom, or more scientifically: Kingdom Plantae (there’s a little Latin for you), we discover that there are many sub groups under the umbrella of Kingdom. It goes something like this: Kingdom – phylum, class, order, family, genus and finally a species. A Kingdom is split into phyla, (plural for phylum), which then can be split into other groups called classes, which are then split into orders, and so on and so on. You get the idea.
So, how does one demonstrate scientific classification to elementary school kids? Well, let your imagination run wild. Lego works well, and so do smarties (but – warning: they don’t hang around long enough to finish the job), so we decided to use…. wait for it…. shoes. Yes, that’s right – shoes!
The kids had to gather one shoe from every pair and pile them all together – then together (which wasn’t easy folks) they had to decide how they would divide them down into smaller groups. I kept encouraging them to look for the big differences. It took a bit of keen observation, but I think they got the jist of it. Here’s the pics to prove it.
And hey, if the shoe fits……