Tuesday, February 26, 2019

Jelly Bean Classification

My class this evening focused on the skills of observation and classification. In thinking about classification, we engaged in a series of sorting activities with a variety of materials (buttons, screws (hardware), seashells, etc.) At the end of this, we completed a jelly bean classification activity using a dichotomous key.

In 2003, David Crowther published an article in Science and Children entitled "Harry Potter and the Dichotomous Key" (October issue, p.18-23). In it he described a 5E lesson for teaching about dichotomous keys using Bertie Bott's Every Flavor Beans. This article also included a key for Jelly Belly Jelly Beans.

Over the years that I have conducted this activity, there were always minor "problems" with the key, as jelly bean flavors and names changed over time. Today, I came home after class and updated the key I had been using (based on the original published in the Crowther article). While not fully following the format of a true dichotmous key, it does a pretty good job of helping students classify the jelly beans found in a 40 flavor bag.

Let me know if you find this useful.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for this. It sounds like a challenging, and tasty, spring activity!