At the beginning of our Living Organisms unit, we study Animal Classification. The students do very well with this unit (I have not met many 4th graders who don't love some sort of animals!!), but I like them to have a greater understanding of the process of classification. It also helps them to understand why some crazy creatures, like the platypus, are in certain groups even though they have characteristics of others. This year, we used a variety of beans and left it open to the students to determine how to classify each type of bean. The students had a blast, and it was great to hear them defending their classification groups!