Students sometimes struggle to organize complex concepts and visualize the connectedness of hierarchical groups, yet much of the biological sciences depends on ranking, ordering, or grouping of information. Diagnosing disease, converting units, and evolutionary relationships all follow stepwise ranking of groups of information. This article presents a cooperative, low-stakes, inexpensive method for novice students to organize hierarchical information. As an example, students work together placing and rearranging animal cards according to taxonomic and evolutionary relationships along a string using shared characteristics. The cards provided address Next Generation Science Standards pertaining to inheritance/variation (LS3) and unity and diversity (LS4). I provide a detailed description of the activity as well as the tools needed to perform this lesson.

You do not currently have access to this content.