Taxonomy, or the science of classification, is a complex system where animals and other organisms are classified from general to the particular. There are 8 categories in the taxonomic rank but most of us focus on the last two; genus and species.
The fifth-grade students of Grayson County explored taxonomy last week by sorting picture cards. They were given various animals and had to sort them as vertebrates or invertebrates. After the picture cards were correctly sorted, they used this information to defer phyla and classes of animals. Once they understood the process, they quickly picked up the classes of vertebrates.
The invertebrates were a little more tricky. The phyla of invertebrates were described and they then had to show which animal fell into that category. Breaking down the arthropod group was the easiest and most fun.