Taxonomy Scavenger Hunt

This past week we had a bit of fun teaching the boys about taxonomy in their science class at home.

First we did a bit of initial reading on the topic before we set out on a little field trip to see the special Darwin exhibition at the Taichung Science Museum. The exhibition was great, although I would have loved it if it had been in English as well as Chinese. Luckily I read "The Kiwi's Egg: Charles Darwin and natural selection", by David Quammen about a year ago, so I was able to answer the barrage of questions the boys had. Emil was fascinated by the exhibition, taking his time to read and thoroughly explore the exhibits. Esben is still not able to read as many Chinese characters having just finished first grade, so Tim walked around with him, while I tried to keep up with Emil.

The next day we went out looking for anything interesting they could find on the grounds at the university next door, ranging from organic to man-made, rounding out the selection with a few things from around the house as well.

We then created taxonomy cards for each item determining whether it was organic or not, the material, color, symmetrical or not, whether it would float in water, etc. For most items we could guess whether it would float or not in water, but a few created disagreement, so had to be tested. We were surprises to find that BANANAS FLOAT (actually, that had been my guess, hum, hum, but nobody agreed with me) and the boys discovered that some things float initially until they absorb too much water ...

Finally they grouped these items, first making groups according to whether they were organic or not, then regrouping according to color, and so on.

For the last two days the boys have been attending an insect summer day camp at TaiDa university in Taipei, which seems like a great follow up to this initial class at home. I am looking forward to hearing all about it when they return tomorrow ...


  1. wow are you home schooling the boys? one of my blogging friends from is also home schooling her 3 children in Colorado, I think you are both amazing I couldn't do it!! Elaine :)

  2. It sounds like a wonderful project. I can see you guys are gonna love teaching and learning at home.
    All the best and see you soon :-)