Photobucket Photobucket Photobucket Photobucket Photobucket Photobucket

Sunday, March 30, 2008

Organizing Science (Books)

I have all of our science books in groups on our unused formal dining room table and I've been racking my brain on how to effectively organize them. I was lost on how to organize our books about animals until someone (thank you Dawn, you've been very inspirational!) pointed out that they could be organized by taxonomy. Taxonomy is the process of classifying living things by Kingdom, Phylum, Class, Order, Family, Genus, Species (it goes further and into sub-categories).

Looking at our books, we have books based on ecology or ecosystems (habitats) which focus more on an individual habitat and discuss the various animals which inhabit it. Then we have a few (just a few) books on individual or similar animals and animal behavior.

I need organization, it is something I crave and once I have it, I can move more freely through our studies with a focus instead of feeling all over the place. Because there is a HIGH probability that we're moving, I feel like I should organize our books before packing them and science is the one area where I'm lacking a meaningful system. I've had them divided by Life Science, Earth Science, Physical and Chemistry but that's not enough. I still wasn't able to determine how many books we had in each field of science and which ones I wanted to use for any given topic without spending a good amount of time looking through the bookshelves.

My overall divisions for our science books are as follows:

- Books that consist of more than one field of study (Biology, Geology, Astronomy, etc.)
- Reference books such as Encyclopedias that cover more than one field of study.


: the study of objects and matter outside the earth's atmosphere and of their physical and chemical properties

The scientific study of celestial objects (such as stars, planets, comets, and galaxies) and phenomena that originate outside the Earth's atmosphere (such as the cosmic background radiation). It is concerned with the evolution, physics, chemistry, meteorology, and motion of celestial objects, as well as the formation and development of the universe
- Books about Space, Space Travel and celestial objects.


Scientific study of atmospheric phenomena, particularly of the troposphere and lower stratosphere
Meteorology entails the systematic study of weather and its causes, and provides the basis for weather forecasting. See also climatology.

Concepts: Weather, Atmospheric Changes, Seasons & Calendar, Clouds, Water Cycle, Air Pressure, etc.

: a science that deals with the history of the earth and its life especially as recorded in rocks
: a study of the solid matter of a celestial body (as the moon)

Basic Concepts: rocks, soil, and gemstones, geology studies the composition, structure, physical properties, history, and the processes that shape Earth's components
- Books that deal solely with the physical properties of Earth


the study of prehistoric life forms on Earth through the examination of plant and animal fossils. This includes the study of body fossils, tracks (ichnites), burrows, cast-off parts, fossilised faeces (coprolites), palynomorphs and chemical residues. Studies of prehistoric hominins, their culture and their behaviour are the purview of two other disciplines, archaeology and paleoanthropology.

Basic Concepts: Prehistoric life, dinosaurs, fossils

- Books about Dinosaurs, Fossils, Prehistoric

Study of the Earth's oceans and seas. Covering a wide range of topics: marine organisms and ecosystem dynamics; ocean currents, waves, and geophysical fluid dynamics; plate tectonics and the geology of the sea floor; and fluxes of various chemical substances and physical properties within the ocean and across its boundaries.

• Biological oceanography, or marine biology, is the study of the plants, animals and microbes (biota) of the oceans and their ecological interaction;

• Chemical oceanography, or marine chemistry, is the study of the chemistry of the ocean and its chemical interaction with the atmosphere;

• Geological oceanography, or marine geology, is the study of the geology of the ocean floor including plate tectonics;

• Physical oceanography, or marine physics, studies the ocean's physical attributes including temperature-salinity structure, mixing, waves, internal waves, tides and currents. Of particular interest is the behavior of sound (acoustical oceanography), light (optical oceanography) and radio waves in the ocean.
- Books that deal with any study of the oceans, seas and large bodies of water on the planet Earth.

: a science that deals with the composition, structure, and properties of substances and with the transformations that they undergo
Basic Concepts: Atom, Element, Compound, Substance, Molecule, Mole, Ions and salts, Phase, Chemical bond, Chemical reaction, Energy, and Chemical laws
- Books that deal solely with the basic concepts listed above.

1: a science that deals with matter and energy and their interactions
2 a: the physical processes and phenomena of a particular system b: the physical properties and composition of something
Basic Concepts: force, energy, mass, and charge
- Books that deal solely with the basic concepts listed above.

: the technology involving the development, maintenance, and use of computer systems, software, and networks for the processing and distribution of data
- Books that deal solely with the field of study defined above.

People in the past and present which make significant contributions to any of the fields of science.
- Biographies and Autobiographies in all fields of scientific study.
*books will also be listed under each field of science as well

Anatomy is subdivided into gross anatomy and microscopic anatomy.

Gross anatomy (also called topographical anatomy, regional anatomy, or anthropotomy) is the study of anatomical structures that can be seen by unaided vision.

Microscopic anatomy is the study of minute anatomical structures assisted with microscopes, which includes histology (the study of the organization of tissues), and cytology (the study of cells).

Anatomy, physiology (the study of function) and biochemistry (the study of the chemistry of living structures) are complementary basic medical sciences where are typically studied in tandem.
Basic Concepts: The human body consists of biological systems, that consist of organs, that consist of tissues, that consist of cells and connective tissue.
- Books that deal with the human body and biology in all aspects.

1: a branch of science concerned with the interrelationship of organisms and their environments
2: the totality or pattern of relations between organisms and their environment
Ecosystems: This classification is used to define the Global 200 list of ecoregions identified by the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) as priorities for conservation.

This classification gives the following terrestrial biomes :

However, for our purposes we will arrange the ecosystems this way for our studies K-4:
A. Grassland
1. Savanna
2. Prairie
3. Alpine (Mountain)

B. Desert
1. Coastal Desert
2. Semi-Arrid Desert
3. Hot & Dry Desert

C. Tropical Forest
1. Rain Forest
2. Sub-tropical areas

D. Forests & Woodlands

E. Aquatic
1. Freshwater
2. Ocean: Coral, Deep Sea
3. Wetlands, Rivers and Marsh
4. Arctic, Antarctic (Polar)

- Books that deal with habitats/ecosystems, environmental issues and endangered animals.

1: a branch of biology concerned with the classification and the properties and vital phenomena of animals
2 a
: animal life (as of a region) : fauna b: the properties and vital phenomena exhibited by an animal, animal type, or group

A. Taxonomy:
orderly classification of plants and animals according to their presumed natural relationships
*This may change as I learn more but here's the structure I currently have and I do not claim this to be 100% accurate or finished.

-Monotremes - platypus
-Marsupial - kangaroos, koala
-Insectivores - moles, hedgehogs
-Chiroptera - bats
-Primates - monkeys, apes
-Endentata - anteaters, sloths, armadillos
-Rodents - rats, mice, muskrats, voles, hamsters, guinea pigs, chincillas
A. Dogs (wolves, foxes)
B. Bears
C. Racoons
D. Weasels, Otters, Skunks, Badgers
E. Hyena
F. Cats (Tiger, Mountain Lion, Puma, Cheetah)
-Proboscidae - elephants
A. Horses
B. Zebras
C. Donkeys
D. Tapis
E. Rhinoceroses
A. Pigs
B. Hippopatumus
C. Camels
D. Deer
E. Giraffes
F. Cattle, Sheep, Goats
G. Antelopes
A. Walrus, Seal, Whales, Dolphins, Manatees
Microorganisms, Fungi, etc.


- Books the singly deal with these topics or groups


CNIDARIA -corals, jellyfish, hydra and sea anemones
ENCHINODERMS -Sea stars, sand dollars
- Pillbugs, Centipedes, Scorpions
- Spiders
- Insects
A. General Insects
B. Butterflies & Moths
C. Bees & Wasps
D. Ants
E. Cockroaches, Grasshoppers, Crickets
F. Beetles
G. Flies, Termites, Dragonflies

- Books the singly deal with these topics or groups
B. Traits and Behaviors: biological clock, dominance, estivation, growth, hibernation, instinct, metamorphosis, migration, mimicry, pheromone, camouflage, reproduction, sleep, sound, and territorial behavior
- Books the singly deal with these topics

1: a branch of biology dealing with plant life
2 a: plant life b: the properties and life phenomena exhibited by a plant, plant type, or plant group

Botany covers a wide range of scientific disciplines that study plants, algae, and fungi including: structure, growth, reproduction, metabolism, development, diseases, and chemical properties and evolutionary relationships between the different groups. The study of plants and botany began with tribal lore, used to identify edible, medicinal and poisonous plants, making botany one of the oldest sciences.

I. Botanic Taxonomy


Lack xylem and phloem tissues that carry water and food from one part of the plant body to another

Liverworts, hornworts, mosses
A. Hepaticae: Liverworts
B. Anthocerotae: Hornworts
C. Musci: Moses

A. Psilophyta: whisk ferns or fork ferns
B. Lycophyta: Club mosses, quillworts, selaginellas
C. Sphenophyta: horsetails
D. Pterophyta: ferns
E. Coniferophyta: conifers, evergreen trees or shrubs
F. Cycadophyta: Cycads, fernlike leave and large seed cones
G. Ginkgophyta: Ginkgoes
H. Gnetophyta: found in deserts and tropical forest, seeds not in cones, leaves called bracts
I. Anthophyta: Flowering plants, angiosperms (two types of angiosperms: Monocotyledonae and Dicotyledonae
1. Monocotyledonae: One cotyledon
2. Dicotyledonae: Two cotyledons
II. Parts of plants: bark, bud, bulb, catkin, cell, cellulose, chlorophyll, chloroplast, corm, cotyledon, drupe, flower, fruit, grain, inflorescence, leaf, lenticel, nut, raceme, rhizome, root, sap, seed, spore, stem, thorn, tuber, wood

III. Kinds of Plants: angiosperm, annual, biennial, bryophyte, carnivorous plant, conifer, dicotyledon, epiphyte, fern, flower, grass, gymnosperm, herb, hornwort, legume, liverwort, monocotyledon, moss, perennial, poisonous plant, pteridophyte, shrub, succulent, tree, vegetable, vine, water plant, weed

IV. Plant Products: Alcohol, Charcoal, Cork, Drug(s), Dye, Fiber, Food, Forest Products, Gutta-percha, Lumber, Paper, Perfume, Resin, Rosin, Rubber, Tar and Turpentine

V. Plant Growing: Agriculture, Alternation of generations, Auxin, Bonsai, Breeding, Farm & Farming, Fertilizer, Gardening, Germination, Grafting, Greenhouse, Herbarium, Hybrid, Hydroponic, Insecticide, Nursery, Photoperiodism, Photosynthesis, Pollen, Pruning, Reproduction, Soil, Terrarium, Transplanting

VI. Where Plants Live: Bog, Desert, Forest, Grassland, Pampa, Plain, Pond, Prairie, Savanna, Seashore, Steppe, Tropical Rain Forest, Tundra, Wetland

VII. Crops
VIII. Garden Flowers
IX. Wild Flowers
X. Herbs
XI. Vegetables
XII. Shrubs
XIII. Trees

For book purposes we will have all books about flowers, plants and agriculture under Botany.
I will be expanding this as we learn more about Botanic Taxonomy.

Special note: Creation vs. Evolution and all that jazz will be studied separately under Apologetics.


1 comment:

Anonymous said...


I have much the same orgainization scheme for our science books. I did add one further catagory-experiment books. I have several of Janice VanCleeve's 201 things books and they seemed to beg their own catagory.

Thanks for all your posts-your organization is also inspiring!

"Jumped Into The Deep End First"