Lesson 1.1 Introduction to the chapter

This is a free lesson. We trust you enjoy it!

Introduction to the lesson

The first chapter has the title, 'Classification'. Before you start to read and work through the chapter, ask yourself the following questions: (It is always a good practice to think about what you already know about a topic before studying that section).

    1. What do you think 'classification' refers to in biology?
    2. What do you think is classified and why is it classified?
    3. Do you think it is easy to classify living organisms? Why or why not?
    4. How would you classify living organisms? In other words, what criteria would you use to classify living organisms?
    5. Do you think it is important to have a classification system that all scientists agree upon? Why or why not?
    6. Do you know what that classification system is called?

 Scanning the chapter

 Before delving into the subject material, it is always helpful to get an overall picture of what the chapter is about. This is called scanning.

Learning Activity 1

To scan the chapter...

  1. Read the titles of the seven main headings of the chapter (they are numbered 1.1, 1.2, 1.3, etc). This will give a good idea of what the chapter will be about.
  2. Now read the sub-headings under each main heading. They are shown in bold, bigger and coloured print. They should give you a better idea of what each main section will be about.
  3. Notice that there are pictures on p.2, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 15 and 16. Why do you think there are pictures? They do make the page look prettier and more inviting but they are there to help you visualize some of the concepts. As you work through the text, remember to study the pictures as well. Some of the pictures have labels. You could be asked to draw and label similar pictures in the exams.
  4. Then note that there are green boxes with key definitions - see p..2, 3, and 5. You will add these terms and definitions as well as other terms and definitions to your biology reference book as you come to them in each lesson.
  5. Notice also that there are pink boxes on p.5 and 14 that have important study tips.
  6. You should also notice that certain paragraphs have a brown bar in the margin with an 'S' in a purple circle. These paragraphs refer to the supplementary part of the syllabus. If you are doing core, you can ignore these paragraphs, but if you are doing extended, you must work through all the paragraphs.
  7. Read the aims of the chapter in the top box on p.1 under the heading 'In this chapter, you will find out about:'
  8. Read the summary on p.16. How does the summary compare with the aims of the chapter?

Now read through the chapter quickly. You are not trying to understand the material but get a gist of what the chapter is about. You should spend about 10-20 minutes reading the chapter.

 Working with the syllabus.

 It is important to know where this chapter fits in with the Cambridge International syllabus for biology. Chapter 1 will cover syllabus sections 1.1 to 1.4

LINK to syllabus

Read these sections in the syllabus, so that you know what is expected of you. You will notice that the syllabus has two columns - the one for core and the other for supplementary. Students taking the extended course must cover the work in both the core and supplementary columns.

Learning Activity 2

From your scanning of the chapter and the reading of the syllabus, write down in a sentence or two what you expect to learn from this chapter.

The puzzle of the platypus

Read the introductory article to the chapter 'The puzzle of the platypus' on p.1 of the Coursebook.

Thinking it through

  1. Why did the British scientists have trouble classifying the platypus?
  2. Do you think the classified it correctly? Why or why not?
  3. How would you classify it and why?

Closing the lesson

  • What do you think you already know that will be covered in this chapter?
  • What are you looking forward to learning about in this chapter?