Just taking a break…..

…from doing my homework, that is!  Tomorrow we’ll be learning about dichotomous keys and animal classification.  I’ve done it many ways in many years: with jellybeans (delicious, but can’t condone the sugar), with pictures (boring) and by dressing up as animals and making groupings in the classroom.  This year I wanted to try something different… I asked each student to bring in a stuffed animal, and they will take turns walking onto the large mat you see below.  By stopping at each point and answering the questions, they will be sorting their animal into its proper spot.  All this took was a plastic tablecloth (two, actually), some permanent markers, a few hours (it’s 9:45 p.m. and I’m almost finished), all my hand weights, and what feels like the skin off my knees.  At the top will be, of course, mammals…. and at the top of the mammals will be the primates.  Because the guy who invented the classification system we currently use put us at the top, isn’t it natural for us to think we have dominion over all the lower beasts?  And thus justifies our treating them however we want?  I’m just saying….

If you actually want to read this you’ll have to click on the picture!

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3 Responses to Just taking a break…..

  1. Anonymous says:

    Your classroom must be so interesting! Do you have a class blog?

  2. Anonymous says:

    sounds like fun. you are such a cool teacher. I’m sure your students will remember you forever. I still remember my cool teachers fondly.
    If I were your student, I’d bring in the cats tiny toy that looks like a worm w/ fuzzy hair on the top of his head.

  3. wei_k says:

    This is really cool!! I totally get now what you were describing to me.
    So you mean the kids didn’t get into dressing up as animals, the year you did that? I would’ve thought they’d be into it. But stuffed animals sounds pretty fun too.

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