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Students will research thoroughly one phylum of animals and become experts in their field. Then they will teach their classmates all about the animals within that group through using Power Point presentations and possible other supplemental aids.

All students will learn about all phyla of animals through active listening, notetaking, and quizzes with each presentation.

What must be included in the presentation? The presentation should follow the outline below.

  1. Phylum Name - What is the name of the phylum you studied?

  2. Examples - What is classified in your phylum? What are the common names of animals representative of each of the classes within that phylum? (Class names can be given in the presentation but are not required learning for the test).

  3. Characteristics - What characteristics do all these animals share that allows them to be placed in the same phylum? What are the most recognizable characteristics foremost, and what other characteristics do you think are important to mention? Remember animals are classified based on morphology, embryology, and biochemical evidence.

  4. Morphology includes structural features, such as unique organs or cell types and specialization of organ systems. Unique structures might be the radula mouth of a mollusk or the flagellated collar cells of a sponge. Organ system specialization might include how developed the digestive system or nervous system is, or in chordates, the development of the heart or brain. Don't dwell in the total dissection/anatomy of your organism.

  5. Embryology is how the embryo forms. You may want to mention about how many tissue/germ layers are found in the embryo and what they are, or whether the mouth or anus opening formed first, or if the animal has a true body cavity. Don't overburden the class with too much technical vocabulary in this field.

  6. Biochemical evidence includes similariites in DNA and proteins. Since this information is new, being investigated currently and very technical, you do not need to include it in in your presentation. Just be aware it exists.

  7. Life History - What is the life story of one or two animals within your phylum? How is it a unique and interesting animal? Is it an endangered species? Does the animal have a special talent or adaptation that makes it appeal to you? Is it parasitic, causing a disease? Does it share a mutualistic relationship with another organism within its environment? Does it have an interesting method of reproduction or an interesting behavior? The goal here is to give a story that will interest both you and your classmates and help everyone learn and understand a bit more about each phylum.

  8. Summary - Conclude all your major points in a final summary. You could format this as a questionnaire to create more invovlment of your classmates or you might just want to reemphasize it in another creative way, such as with humor or rap or a poem.

Visual art -
Throughout the Powerpoint presentation, students are encouraged to use clip art or digital camera photographs -graphic art (GIF files). Large photographic type books may be a valuable resource here.

Presentation Rules -
Length of time is from 15 min. to 30 min. Remember that others will be taking notes while you speak, so you need to speak at a proper pace for this to occur. Students will work individually or in teams of two. Both students must present part of the final presentation. Both must also contribute equally to the preparation of it.

How will this activity be graded?
You will be graded both on your presentation (50 pts.) and on active listening and note taking skills while others present and on being on task with preparation (25 pts).
The following factors will determine your grade (A-F). You will be ranked from 1-5 for each factor. Each factor counts 25 % of the total grade.

  1. Accuracy -
    How accurate was your presentation? Did you give any misinformation? Did you appear to know the information well? Did you answer questions accurately? Did you make the effort to insure that all terms were pronounced correctly?

  2. Following directions -
    Did you stick to the time limits? Did both team members "present" it, using a proper set of notes or notecard if necessary. Did you include all the required information?

  3. Delivery -
    Did you speak loudly and clearly? Were you too fast or too slow? Did you allow for time for most students to take notes? Did you appear confident and poised? Did you have proper eye contact with the class? Were you enthusiastic and creative? Did you avoid silliness? Did you make it interesting? Did you involve others in the class in any meaningful discussion?

  4. Use of visual aids -
    Did you use the Powerpoint/overhead well? Did you use any other visual aids such as pictures, charts, specimens, handouts, etc.?
A typical presentation class day would be as follows:
  • Set-up and prepare presentation while teacher calls roll.
  • Present your animal phylum (15-30 min.) .
  • All students, including presenters, will take an open notebook quiz directly following presentation.
The quizzes, matching animal phylum names, key vocabulary words, and important information presented will be assimilated into an overall animal kingdom test.

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