Saturday, December 14, 2013


Taxonomy Tags by Lyons Creek Middle School 7th graders

One of the perks of being a substitute teacher is that I get to re-learn cool stuff and then use this resuscitated knowledge to fascinate my friends during parties and such.  One of the perks of being booked ahead for a substitute teaching job (most sub jobs are assigned the morning of) is that I can find out what I will be teaching, refresh my brain accordingly, and arrive to the classroom well-prepared. 

Some teachers believe (like my older daughter does) "you're only a sub" but Ms. Scanga, a 7th grade science teacher at Lyons Creek Middle, appreciates my dedication to life-long learning and sincere interest in actually teaching. I subbed for her recently and did a Friday/Monday combo. I booked the job weeks in advance and studied-up the night before on The Classification of Living Things. I was inspired to propose an extra credit project.

I love the fact that all the random books I collect for my collages are also filled with useful information.

On Friday, I came to class with a bunch of plain manila tags. Five minutes before the end of each class, I pitched the idea of making Taxonomy Tags - featuring a species from the animal or plant kingdoms, the common name for that species, fancy genus species name, a drawing or photo, and a couple of characteristics. I told them I would use them to make something for their teacher. The kids' first thought wasn't "Oh isn't that sweet!" or "Wow, we love extra credit projects!"  but rather "What do we get if we do it?" Candy...duh. 

i collected about 40 tags on Monday and strung the garland with ribbon on Wednesday night while watching Nashville.

I collected some excellent drawings.

Clown Fish (Amphiprion percale) were extremely popular.
different color ribbon made it festive and quirky.
Ms. Scanga loved her present and hung it proudly in her room. It looks really good!

NOTE: (if Taxonomy or evolution interests you personally or if you have a child who is presently studying it in school, I recommend checking out the Linnaen Society - a fascinating, hip website devoted to a classification system that started in the early 1700's and continues to evolve today.)