Categorizing Concepts

TT-02RX - discontinued, TT-12 Interactive Document Camera- DISCONTINUED

The following activity can be used to introduce or review examples of science concepts in categories, such as vertebrates and invertebrates. An ELMO document camera allows all students to actively participate.

ELMO document camera, Projector, One paper with the category names listed in columns, Papers cut in small pieces with the names of different animals to classify into vertebrates and invertebrates


1. Label the piece of paper with the category names, i.e. vertebrate and invertebrate.
2. Write the names of different vertebrate and invertebrate animals on each of the small cards (works best if there are enough examples for every member of the class).

3. Project the image of the diagram using the ELMO document camera.
4. Pass out a small card with the name of an animal written on it to each student.
5. Direct students to decide whether the animal on each card is a vertebrate or invertebrate, and place the card in the appropriate category.
6. Discuss as a class, making corrections to student classifications as necessary.

7. As a review activity on a separate occasion, mix the cards and pass out to different students, repeat activity as listed above.
8. Create a few new cards with animal names that have not been previously reviewed as a class. Project the image of the cards using an ELMO document camera. Assign students to categorize the animals for homework. To review homework the following day as a class, pass out the cards assigned as homework. Allow students to place each card in the appropriate category using the ELMO document camera.

Instead of preparing the cards with items to categorize, have students create the cards by writing the name of an animal on each small card. This class activity can be easily adapted for other categorizing activities.