Web-Quest: Classification Unit

"Biologists classify organisms to better understand how all living thing are interconnected. We do this already in everyday life. We classify isles in a grocery store by food type, we classify sports by the type of balls and techniques they use, we classify things all the time by putting things into groups based on similarities so that we can better organize our lives. The same is true for biologists except what they are trying to organize is living organisms and how life all fits together because biology is the study of life (" 

Text/ Web-quest: Classification Unit


For the beginning of this unit you will learn the material using your online resources.  Watch the videos and complete the questions below to learn about classification.  This will be counted as a part of your unit packet and will be the best study guide for your quiz.  When everyone has completed the webquest you will be placed in small groups to present a portion to the class to check for understanding.



Today's investigation centers around the study of classification or Taxonomy.  So, grab your Chromebook, a headset/earbuds, and pencil.  If you prefer, you may work with your table mates to complete this task.  




Part I: Introduction to Classification

You will need headsets to listen to Classification  with the Amoeba Sisters. 


Now, click on the link and answer the questions in your notebook.


Part II:  Dichotomous Keys

In the second video, you will learn about the Dichotomous Key:


Why do we classify organisms?


Binomial nomenclature:

Genus (give example):



Species (give example):



Part III:  What is an organism? 

In the search box, look up the word, "organism," what is the definition?






Which of the following are organisms? (write, "organism, or not an organism")


A single celled bacteria


A reptile


A dolphin




A rock


A river


A Eukaryote


A Prokaryote



Part IV:  How do we classify organisms? 

In your own words, what does it mean to identify something? What do scientists use to identify organisms?


What is the full name of the scientist who developed the system for naming and grouping species that is the basis for modern classification? What characteristic did he use to put species into groups?

What are the rules for writing a scientific name?


The _______________ name is written first, the ________________ name is written second.  The first letter of the ________________name is capitalized and the first letter of the ______________name is always lower case.  The entire name is written in ___________________.


Now, pick five organisms, write their common names (how you know them) and look up their scientific names (e.g. Google “dog scientific name”). Don’t forget to write the names according to the rules above (if you are writing manually use underline instead of italics)


Common Name

Scientific Name


CAUTION: As you go through the following animations, do not get wrapped up in scientific language or words you do not know, just answer the questions below.


Go to the following link:

Read the paragraph under Classifying Life. How are organisms classified hierarchically into seven levels?  A mnemonic (nuh-mahn-ic) device is a word or a phrase used to help you remember the order of things or events.  This site provides a mnemonic device that helps you to remember the classification hierarchy (King Phillip Crossed Over For Gold and Silver).  Now it’s your turn, make up your own mnemonic device and fill it in below.



Classification Level

My Own Mnemonic Device

















Write your mnemonic device below (and don’t forget it!):




Now, click on Launch Interactive (see the pbs link above) and try to classify one of the organisms:


Which organism did you pick? _____________________________________

Fill in the classification below, including one characteristic of each classification level:



















Go to the following link:

Read along and follow the purple links

 Which two animals are most closely related? (circle two)

                               a)Dolphin Shark Wolf


(choose build another tree when prompted)


                              b)  Bear  Opossum Raccoon


                              c)  Human Sponge Tunicate


How is evolution related to classification?

(you may need to go through the animation a second time, use your knowledge from last unit)


25%: You will be informally evaluated by your ability to work in teams (being supportive of others, and contributing to the topic conversation).  

25%:You and your team will be required to present your mnemonic(s).

50%: Once you have completed the Webquest, please send it to  Your grade will be determined by the degree of accuracy of your webquest answers.  

I hope that you enjoyed your webquest and found it to be informative.  Now you are ready for the next hands-on exploratory investigation, The Shell Dichotomous Key Project.  

(n.d.). Retrieved August 11, 2017, from

A. (2017, March 08). Classification. Retrieved August 11, 2017, from

A. (2015, December 23). Dichotomous Keys: Identification Achievement Unlocked. Retrieved August 11, 2017, from

Groleau, R. (2002, November 01). Classifying Life. Retrieved August 11, 2017, from