This class explores the category system supplied to identify animals. Most kids are fascinated through animals and also often have an pet that is a certain favorite, possibly also an pet the child has actually never seen before. Children likewise like to order and also sort things, and this class melds both of these interests.

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This class is especially designed to move quickly past the expertise level come high-level thinking. This lesson can be taught to whole classroom or offered as a self-directed expansion activity.

Learning ObjectivesAfter completing the lessons in this unit, students will certainly be able to:Know and also understand the 7 levels of classification.Apply that understanding as they exercise classifying animals.Evaluate and also compare the group of animals.Devise a category system because that the objects in your homes.Create a brand-new species and classify it follow to the principles of classification.PreparationPrint the lesson arrangement on a shade printer.Have access to the internet for student(s).Gather supplies consisting of paper, pen or pencil, crayons, fancy pencils and/or fine-tip markers.

Lesson 1: Beginnings

Look at the images of this animals, then to fill in the chart below: (We’ve provided you one example.)



Choose the two pets from your chart the you think space most comparable and justify your selection in one sentence.

Lesson 2: arranging the pets — how it happened


Back in the 18th century, a Swedish guy named Carolus Linnaeus assumed it was essential to organize living things, and also he occurred a system to do just that. He started out interested in plants, yet he ended up ordering all life together he knew it. We still usage the essence of his system today. Scientists are continuous refining the system based on brand-new knowledge. Who knows? maybe you will make a readjust in how pets are organized!

Putting pets in order favor this is called taxonomy. The taxonomists — civilization who name pets — usage a publication called the global Code that Zoological Nomenclature, or ICZN, come tell castle the rules for classifying animals.

Linnaeus’s system has seven levels:


Every animal on the planet, down to the many microscopic creature you deserve to imagine, can be classified follow to this system. You have the right to remember the order the device comes in with among the following phrases. The an initial letter of each word is the very first letter the the level of classification. Pick the one you favor the best and practice saying it five times.

King Phillip, come out, for goodness’ sake!King penguins congregate on frozen ground sometimes.Keep ponds clean or frogs get sick.


Let’s look at each level and an instance using one common animal.

These levels start out generally — that way the height levels have actually the most animals, and also they acquire narrower and narrower as you go down. So, by the time you obtain to the species, over there is just one animal in the group. You can imagine this levels together an upside-down triangle.

KingdomGenerally, scientists agree there are six kingdoms. The animal kingdom (called Kingdom Animalia) is just one of those. In instance you’re interested, the others are Achaebacteria, Eubacteria, Protists, Fungi and Plants. Originally, Linnaeus only figured out two kingdoms: plant and animal. Some scientists think the viruses should have their own kingdom, but at this time they space not contained under this system.PhylumWithin the animal kingdom, the pets are split into much more than 30 phyla (which is the many of “phylum”). You can be interested in Phylum Chordata — it’s the one humans and all animals with backbones space in (do friend see how “chordata” looks choose the native “cord” — prefer spinal cord?). Phylum Arthropoda contains insects, spiders and other animals with segmented bodies, like shrimp. Arthropods have their skeletons ~ above the external of your bodies (think of the difficult shell of a lobster) and also other characteristics in common.ClassThe third level of category is class. For example, Phylum Chordata has actually classes in it like birds, mammals (Mammalia) and also reptiles.OrderThe next level, or rank, is order. Orders room smaller teams within the different classes. Lepidoptera is the stimulate of moths and also butterflies. Carnivora is the order within Mammalia that has actually the most diversity in pet size.FamilyThe fifth rank of group is family. (When you gain to this rank, people sometimes disagree around which household an animal belongs to, so friend may uncover that different sources phone call you various things. This can also happen through orders.) The household for dog is Canidae.GenusThis rank looks like “genius,” doesn’t it? It’s the second-to-last rank, and a genus may have actually only one or two pets in it. If pets are in the exact same genus, they are really closely related. In fact, you might not have the ability to tell castle apart simply by looking in ~ them! once we compose the surname of the genus, us capitalize it and also italicize it. For example, the genus of dogs (and wolves, too!) is Canis.SpeciesIf animals can breed together successfully, they are a species. Once an animal is called by its clinical name, then that method it is being established by that genus and species. We usage a small letter letter and italics for the species. The scientific name of dogs is Canis familiaris; however, the scientific name of wolves is Canis lupus.

Lesson 3: utilizing what you’ve learned

Look ago at your chart of the pets that you did in great 1. Let’s see exactly how they fit into what we’ve simply learned. Utilizing that chart and also the chart on the last page of this lesson, prize the following questions:

Why do you think us left Kingdom turn off of the chart? What kingdom does every of these animals belong to?Look in ~ the course of the Chilean flamingo. All birds belong to that class. Execute you view why we contact things to execute with airplanes “aviation?” utilizing that same idea, and also looking in ~ the stimulate of the blue whale, have the right to you make up a indigenous that way “as big as a whale?”Do friend agree or disagree through this statement? If two pets are the exact same genus, climate they must additionally be the exact same family, order, class, phylum and kingdom. Why did you make the choice?Why perform you think that we had actually to be an ext specific around the animals in this chart? Why can’t we simply put “bear”? Why walk we have to say “grizzly bear?”Whales actually have actually suborders relying on whether they have teeth or baleen (comblike sieves the let water out yet keep their food in). Think about the surname of the kind of physician who place braces top top people’s teeth. Currently think around the name of the whale suborder Odontoceti. Do you think these are whales v teeth or whales through baleen?The household that equines belong to, Perissodactyla, means “odd toed.” Think about what a horse’s hoof watch like. Deserve to you think of any other animals not top top this chart that might belong to the family?Using the graph above, write the clinical names of the cow, the flamingo and also the whale.CowChilean flamingoBlue whale

Did you placed the genus very first with a capital letter? an excellent for you! as soon as you watch a species’ surname written, it will be the genus and the species, so the scientific name is sometimes just referred to as "species." occasionally the genus will just be detailed as a resources letter with a duration after it, favor this: B. Musculus.

Lesson 4: Working v your favorite animal

Go come the college of Michigan Museum of Zoology’s animal Diversity Web. In the find box, placed in her favorite animal. Currently write out its classification:

Kingdom: _______________Phylum: _______________Class: _______________Order: _______________Family: _______________Genus: _______________Species: _______________

Look on the chart of pets in the ahead lesson. Space there any pets on the graph in the exact same phylum together your animal? exact same class? Which pet do you think is the most carefully related to your animal?

Go earlier to the website and try to think of a couple of animals that would certainly be really closely concerned the very first animal friend chose and also classified above. Because that example, if you chose “tiger,“ try “lion“ and “panther.“ how close deserve to you get? have the right to you acquire down to the very same family? How about genus?

What animal could you find that to be closest to yours?

Lesson 5: Classifying her house

It’s not just pets that acquire organized. Think about the grocery store store; is the cereal in the exact same area together the fruit? No, each form of food is in its own space. Girlfriend can easily tell exactly how the grocery keep classifies the items because that sale by looking at the signs over the aisles.

Now think about your house. Imagine the you required to divide every items in her house. One way would be to use the concepts that Linnaeus had actually — to begin out with broad categories and get narrower. Let’s shot it!

You space going to devise a seven-level system for classifying the things in your house. If friend get puzzled at any kind of time as you space doing this, you have the right to look at the examples provided later in the lesson.








First, let’s think around the broadest level. Is whatever inside your home or do you have actually some points outside, too? possibly your first level demands to it is in the Kingdom Inside and also the Kingdom Outside. If your family members has other places that you keep things you own (like a separate home or a storage unit), that might be a third kingdom. You may want to have actually kingdoms based on sides of the residence or points for parents and things for kids. List her kingdoms.Next, you need the next level down, phylum. Think about the things you have in among your kingdoms. Can you think of a few categories you could divide castle into? You might want to pick phyla based upon rooms (such as Phylum life Room, Phylum Kitchen). You may want to select phyla based on the items’ dimension or what they are made of. It’s up to you. Pick just one kingdom from her list above and produce three phyla for it ~ above the following page (remember that phyla is the many of phylum).Pick among the three phyla girlfriend created above and placed it top top the line below. Write the kingdom that phylum belongs to on the line beside Kingdom. Think around the phylum girlfriend picked. In your mind, break it down into some categories. Because that example, if her phyla were broken down through rooms, and also you choose "Living Room" as your phylum, how could you divide the points in her living room into categories? can you break them under by what you do with them? How about who supplies them? How around what they room made that or whereby they are (wall, floor, closet)? Don’t shot to do the categories too small, since you have actually several levels left! this categories room your classes. Think of 3 classes and list them on the diagram below:Now you space going come repeat this till you obtain to species. After course comes bespeak (remember her sentence!), so choose one class from above, list in on the heat below and also create three orders to go underneath it. Just keep thinking around how you could narrow that team of things even more. Remember come look at the example at the end of this ar if you get stuck. Perform the kingdom and also phylum, too, so you have the right to keep track.You only have actually a couple of levels to go! after order come family, so choose one of her orders from over and carry out the same thing you’ve to be doing. Break it down into smaller categories.You only have two level left! friend are almost to a single item! Wow! select one household from her list above and then break it down into three smaller sized groups. Remember that the following level will certainly be an separation, personal, instance item, therefore be certain to make the genera (that’s many for more than one genus) very narrow.You room at the critical step! You space down to individual items! pick a genus from her list above, and also name three various species, or items, within that genus.Now choose one of her species provided above and also list its whole scientific classification from kingdom ~ above down:Examples

Look here for ideas if you obtain confused. There is an instance of exactly how to break things down into smaller categories, and then there is an instance of a scientific category for one item. So that you don’t gain stuck trying come copy the example, we’ve offered a school rather of a residence for the example.

Do you see how the groups obtain smaller and also smaller, finishing in a single item? that is what you room trying come do.

Phylum:Students’ Supplies
Class:Language Arts
Order:Reading Center
Genus:Chapter Books
Species:"Tales that a 4th Grade Nothing"

Here is an instance of how one level could be damaged down into several smaller categories. We’ll usage the level family members from over for our example. Notification how every genus is a smaller component of the family of Books.


Lesson 6: Create and classify your own animal

Imagine that you are a biologist studying pets in the wild. One day, while lying in her viewing spot, you see an animal you have actually never seen before. Girlfriend rush back to your tent and also look v your encyclopedia of animals, growing more and an ext excited together you realize that you have discovered a new species! as the discoverer the this new species, you acquire the respect of naming it. Of course, gift a terrific scientist, you will certainly follow the category system in place. That means that the only component of the animal’s surname you will consist of yourself is the actual types name.

You go ago to the animal Diversity web to uncover the closest pet you can uncover to the one you discovered. For example, if the animal you have uncovered looks a lot choose a panther, look up "panther" top top the website.

So acquire a clear snapshot of your animal in your mind. Is it a mammal? a fish? a bird? This works ideal if you develop an animal that is comparable to your favorite animal you decided earlier, yet yet contempt different. Attract a photo of your brand-new animal.

List the animal’s classification. Remember, its classification should be the exact same as the animal you discovered that is almost the very same as this one. The only difference will it is in the species.

Look at several other varieties within the genus so that you deserve to think of something that renders your animal slightly different than any type of other species in the genus. For example, it might be a different shade or eat something various or live top top a different continent.

What is her species’ distinguishing characteristic?

After you have actually classified your animal, including producing a species name, go back and label your snapshot with one thing from every level that is distinct to the classification. Because that example, if your animal is in phylum Chordata, attract a line to the animal’s backbone and write, "Phylum Chordata — backbone." execute this for at least 4 levels. Look earlier to the pet Diversity website you used before to find each the those levels. It will tell friend what qualities are typical of that classification. You may also use an encyclopedia to assist you.

See the example below.



Books top top Animals

Because animals nearly universally interest children, there space myriad publications on them geared to young readers. Included here room a few high-quality volumes that are identified due to high quality of illustration, comprehensiveness of material, interest to gifted learners or standard nature.


Animal: The critical Visual guide to the World’s Wildlife by David BurnieNational geographical Encyclopedia the Animals by Karen McGheeThe Encyclopedia that Animals: A finish Visual Guide through George McKayA Life in the Wild: George Schaller’s struggle to conserve the Last great Beasts by Pamela Turner


Mr. Popper’s Penguins by Richard AtwaterThe Dr. Dolittle series by Hugh LoftingCharlotte’s Web, Stuart Little and also Trumpet the the Swan through E.B. White

Online Information:


Answers to Lesson 3: using what you’ve learnedWhy do you think we left "Kingdom" turn off of the chart? What kingdom does every of these pets belong to?Kingdom to be left off because all animals belong to Kingdom Animalia.Look at the course of the Chilean flamingo. Every birds belong to the class. Carry out you view why we speak to things to carry out with plane "aviation?" utilizing that exact same idea, and looking in ~ the stimulate of the blue whale, have the right to you consist of a indigenous that method "as huge as a whale?"Answers will vary, yet should encompass at the very least the source of "cetacean."Do you agree or disagree through this statement? If two pets are the exact same genus, then they must likewise be the exact same family, order, class, phylum and also kingdom. Why did friend make that choice?Answers will vary, however the exactly answer is "Agree." The category system is optimal down, for this reason if the animal is the same as one more at a reduced level, they must be in the same greater levels.Why execute you think that we had to be an ext specific around the pets in this chart? Why can’t we just put "bear?" Why walk we have to say "grizzly bear?"Again, answers will vary, yet the crucial idea is the there is more than one varieties of bear.Whales actually have actually suborders depending on whether they have actually teeth or baleen. Think about the name of the sort of medical professional who place braces top top people’s teeth. Currently think around the surname of the whale suborder Odontoceti. Execute you think these room whales v teeth or whales with baleen?Suborder Odontoceti room whales with teeth.Write the clinical names the the cow, the flamingo and also the whale.

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Cow: Bos taurusChilean flamingo: Phoenicopterus chilensisBlue whale: Balaenoptera musculusAnswers come Lesson 4: Working with your favorite animal

The correct classification will rely upon the pet chosen. Use either the pet Diversity net or any type of encyclopedia come verify the the student has chosen the exactly classification.