Creative Classification

Contributor: Hannah Brooks. Lesson ID: 12070

Would you shop in a store that had everything just thrown around the floor, making it impossible to find what you want? Organization makes sense — scientists even organize living organisms for study!

categories

Life Science

subject
Science
learning style
Visual
personality style
Otter, Golden Retriever
Grade Level
Middle School (6-8)
Lesson Type
Quick Query

Lesson Plan - Get It!

Audio:

How do you organize your closet? Did you know that all living things are classified much like pieces of clothing?

Think about how you organize a closet: maybe placing pants, shirts, and coats together.

Some people even go farther, color-coding items of clothing within each section. Living organisms have been classified in a very similar way. Classification starts with three broad categories, called domains. These consist of Bacteria, Archaea, and Eukarya, each with identifying characteristics, shown in the chart below:

Domain Characteristics Example Organisms
Bacteria
  • single-celled
  • utilize asexual reproduction
  • lack nucleus, mitochondria, and chloroplast
  • single-strand genetic material in cytoplasm
  • blue-green algae
  • sulfur bacteria
Archaea
  • able to survive extreme conditions
  • single-celled
  • utilize asexual reproduction
  • DNA with associated proteins in cytoplasm
  • lack nucleus, mitochondria, and chloroplast
  • halobacterials
  • methanobacteriales
  • thermophilic (heat-loving) and halophilic (salt-loving) organisms
Eukarya
  • nuclei with DNA
  • utilize organelles such as mitochondria and golgi apparatus
  • photosynthetic organisms also have chloroplasts
  • amoebas
  • oak trees

 

Blu-green algae (bacteria) in Lake Erie:

Lake Erie

Image is in the public domain because it contains materials that originally came from the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, taken or made as part of an employee's official duties, via Wikimedia Commons.

Deep sea vents are home to very unique ecosystems, including members of Archaea, pictured here:

deep-sea vents

Image, via Wikimedia Commons, is in the public domain in the United States because it was solely created by NASA. NASA copyright policy states that "NASA material is not protected by copyright unless noted".

Once placed into a domain, organisms are then classified into one of six kingdoms:

  • eubacteria
  • archaebacteria
  • protista
  • fungi
  • plantae
  • animalia

Wow, that is a lot of biological diversity! The first two kingdoms align with the bacteria and archaea domain, but the eukarya domain actually is made up of four kingdoms. These kingdoms vary greatly in types and function of organisms. Each kingdom has unique features and breaks down into small component sections. You're going to learn about the unique characteristics of each kingdom!

Read both of the following articles to complete the Kingdom Organizer below:

Share your answers with a parent or guardian. Answers may vary, and can be checked using Five Kingdom Classification System, provided by David R. Caprette through Rice University.

When you are done, continue on to the Got It? section for more in-depth study.

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