Alien Taxonomy Sample Key

Original Document: Alien Taxonomy

Excerpt: You are an alien taxonomist. Your job is to classify the aliens found on the planet Bizarro-World. You have noted that there are two main groups of organisms on this planet: a group of humanoid like organisms that live on the land, and a group of fish like organisms that live in the water......

Note: The names are just made up, encourage students to be creative with naming. Many species names come from what they look like, or where they are found, and in some cases, who discovered the organism. For example, there is a whole genus named after Darwin called Darwinius which include a group of primates.

When I grouped the organisms, I created two kingdoms, the fishy kingdom and the humanoid kingdom.

From there, I divided the fish into those that had legs, and those that had shorter stumpy legs (or no legs). The Stumpy legs were divided into those that had two stumps and those that had four. Each was then given a species name, Genus + species.

The humanoids were initially divided into groups that did not have a separate head and those that had an obvious head region.

There is a number of ways that you can group and classify these aliens, the end result is not as important as the process. Cutting out the pictures can be helpful for arranging them and discussing with small groups of students how you would organize the aliens.

sample key