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Kids Listen, Episode 6:
Tumble Presents The Case of the Sparkly Mineral!
In this Kids Listen Activity Podcast, Tumble is sharing their episode The Case of the Sparkly Minerals. 
In this episode, they take a trip to the Field Museum of Natural History in Chicago, where the Tumble team gets a special behind-the-scenes tour of their mineral collection.  Plus, they learn what makes rocks sparkly.  Listen to the episode here.
This episode comes with an activity to make your own classification system. Follow the step-by-step description and printable guides available below. 
Classification Activity


When scientists make observations about the world, they often have to develop classification systems. A classification system is a way to put things into categories, and if you think of it your life is full of them! If you’re a normal human (we don’t want to make any assumptions here!) you probably put everything in your life into some kind of category. You have categories for people like “family members,” “friends,” and maybe even “enemies.” And you have categories for things like “living things,” “useful things,” and so on and so on. 


But how do you know what goes in one category or another? Sometimes it helps to have really concrete definitions of what puts something in one category versus another. So we’re going to try developing a system to help us understand how to categorize the world around us. 


What You Need
  • A bunch (no fewer than 5, but no more than 10) of random items from around your house--the more different from each other, the better!

  • This document, printed out

  • A pencil or pen, or crayons or markers if you want to get fancy


What You’re Going to Do
  1. Arrange all the items you’ve collected in front of you on a table. 

  2. Looking at each item one at a time, complete the observation chart (attached) for each item. Follow the instructions on the chart, and be as thorough as you can! 

  3. Once you’ve recorded as many details about each object as you can, start noticing what traits the objects might have in common with each other. 

  4. Start organizing the objects into two main categories. These categories can be based on anything you like--size, shape, color, function, whatever!--but all the objects in a category must have something in common. Record it on the form provided. 

  5. Once you have two main categories, start building sub-categories! A sub-category is a group of objects within a larger group that share additional traits in common. Use the form provided. 

  6. Keep going until you have as many sub-categories as you think you can create! Once you’re there, congratulations! You’ve created a classification system. 

  7. Now, it’s time to test it! Search your house, and find something new. Does it fit easily into a category you’ve created? Or do you need to create a whole new category? 

You can find a PDF with tables to get you started here

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