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Classified!

Animal, vegetable, or mineral?

Everyday, you classify. Think about it. Sorting objects and putting them in a specific place is classification. Do you have a sock drawer in your dresser? How about a cabinet in your kitchen for storing your cups and saucers? Do you collect baseball cards or stamps? Practice classifying objects according to physical structure and characteristics.
Materials
A box of assorted buttons
A bag of peanuts (in the shell)
An assortment of leaves

Procedure
Begin with the assorted buttons. Group the buttons according to any characteristics you choose. (For example, size, color, number of holes, texture, etc.)
Next, group the peanuts according to external structure and characteristics. Then, break open the shells and consider the internal characteristics.
Finally, sort the plant leaves according to structure and characteristics. Try re-grouping them according to alternate characteristics.

Conclusions
Consider how much easier it was to group the non-living buttons than the living leaves.
Emphasize that although the peanuts varied in structure, they were all still members of the same family.

Extension Ideas
Try brainstorming and classifying other groups of living things, like "domestic pets" or "animals you'd see in a zoo."


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