11-13 yrs old
Students worked in groups to create a Kingdoms Zoo in which they represented different species and features of each Kingdom.
August 20, 2018
The objectives the students need to accomplish throughout their research and completion of the project.
Kingdoms Zoo World
The final world built by the students in which we have the 5 Kingdoms of Life. Feel free to use/edit.
The project began with the idea of representing different organisms, namely by studying taxonomy and the organization of life in the 5 Kingdoms (at this level, we still work Protista as a single Kingdom). It was a very good project for students to work collaboratively, in the same world, hence the Zoo idea.
Students acquire some previous knowledge on all the Kingdoms with guided research prior to construction. This is essential to clarify misconceptions and plan the work ahead.
Good (provocative and inquisitive) questions at this stage could be:
- Is there a Kingdom we could classify as more important than other? Why? - Are all Monera harmful? What uses or application can they have?
- Are mosses plants? What about algae, are they plants or Protista?
A good extension could be use the Zoo to explore the concepts of adaptation and how human beings influence animal life: do Zoo's cages have enough space and conditions for the species they carry? How important is their role in preserving close to extinction species? A Skype call with a Zoo can help give answer to some of these questions.
Throughout the sessions (we used 7 classes of 90 minutes), students will be following the objectives checklist given at the start of the project and work through all objectives. At each session, students will have specific work for specific objectives (small questions, worksheets) to assess their progression.
Even though students need to check and work all the objectives, in Minecraft they will only represent one of the five Kingdoms of life and specify their main features and characteristics.
Students will work collaboratively in a prebuilt world by the teacher where the limits of the Zoo and each Kingdom have already been created.
With their research notes, each group will include information in their Kingdom's area and create ways to represent organisms.
One of the difficulties will be creating species to represent Monera and Pro- tista. Students got creative and went full scale, using the blocks as pixel art to represent Protista or creating glass walls that simulated microscopes.
Monera represented bacteria with flagellum and pilus and even included a pool with DNA chains to simulate their non organized nucleus.
Fungi, Plants and Animmalia are easier since they have real species eggs they can hatch, but nevertheless students should focus in the characteristics and variety of these groups and try to represent as much different organisms as possible.
In the Animal Kingdom, the students faced the problem of competition be- tween species, namely between wolves and other animals and even between wolves (it was a true survival of the fittest); this led way to the introduction of the following contents which included food chains and webs and interdependence.