Taxonomy is the branch of science concerned with classification of organisms into Domain, Kingdom, Phylum, Class, Order, Family, Genus & Species. With these activities, my kids have become pretty knowledgeable about many of these groups and they especially loved the labs!
This is the second time we’ve done this unit. The last time we did it, my youngest was 9 and she said she definitely needed to review this material again (she’s now 12). My 15 year old said she wanted to cover this material again… especially because we were going to be doing a number of labs once again.
Scientific Names Worksheets: All living things have a two-part scientific name. We talked quite a bit about the naming process, both how this was established by Linnaeus and then we did a few worksheets to learn about the scientific names for some animals .
I made some new sorting cards and added them into the the Scientific Classification and Taxonomy packet. I also added in some informational notebook pages that we went over as we did a couple of the labs.
We purchased live critters from Carolina.com (see the picture above!). This time we purchased Hydra, Daphnia and Planaria. I created some notebook pages about the Cnidarians (Hydra is in this phylum). And, I also made notebook pages on Platyhelminthes (the flatworms Planaria are in this phylum) as well as on Nematodes and Annelids.
For this section I made some sorting cards on the 5 sub-phyla as well as some of the classes that belong under each of those. There are also worksheets and notebook pages. The girls are doing research on a couple of the sub-phyla and will present that information to each other.
We laughed at how challenging the class names were to pronounce (we used dictionary.com to figure out how to pronounce Phthiraptera – lice!! Our goal was not to memorize all these different classes, but to explore a little deeper how challenging it is to organize and classify all the different organisms in existence!
My kids loved this unit because there were a lot of lab activities we could do at home… from watching live organisms under the microscope to some basic dissection activities.
It has an introductory activity about classification. As we started off this unit, we started off by talking about why we classify things. We learned about the dichotomous key and did a number of activities to understand how they work. We talked about why classification is useful and how we can do that in a way that is organized and logical.
History of Scientific Classification: From there we went on to talk about Linnaeus and how much the classification system has changed just in the last thirty years. I told the kids that the groupings we learned about is very likely to change by the time they study classification in college because things have changed so much!
We also looked at a taxonomy chart (for domestic cats) and talked about the way organisms are named (by genus and species). The reference sheet (below right) explains the human taxonomy chart and groupings.
Then, we started diving into understanding the modern taxonomy chart.
You saw some of the new materials above, but here are some more pictures of what is included:
Activities: To review all of the Animal Phyla we played quite a number of review games (they loved that!)
I also provided a separate pdf of a sample day. In that, I explained with pictures, some of the activities we did to review and learn new material. On that particular day we did about 9 different activities.
What age is this unit for? My kids were 9, 12 and 14 when we did this unit the first time and my girls are 12 and 15 doing this unit the second time. I recommend this unit for middle school and early high school. If you want to cover basic scientific classification with your younger kids, I recommend the Animal Unit. This includes vertebrate-invertebrate sorting cards, animal characteristics, feathers, fur, scales or skin, animal homes, and much more!
This packet is now more than 100 pages.
Our units are PDF digital downloads. Be sure to check your PayPal email address for the download link. If you have any questions or problems feel free to email me! You should get your automatic download link from SendOwl within a few minutes. If you don’t, be sure to email me if you need me to send the link to you again! Here are some answers to some Frequently Asked Questions. ~Liesl
Scientific Classification & Taxonomy Packet is $7.99.
Note: This packet is included in the Biology Bundle (see below).
You might also be interested in our other biology units. Find out more by clicking the links below or you can add them to your shopping cart using the buttons below.
Biology BUNDLE OPTIONS:
Visit this Biology Bundle Page for more details (and lots more pictures!)
$37.99 Biology BUNDLE of 5: 1) Biology Unit (Biomes, habitats, food chains/webs, feeding relationships) 2) Scientific Classification & Taxonomy Packet 3) Ocean Unit & Layers of the Ocean/Ocean Zone Activities 4) Cells Unit 5) Botany Unit
Don’t forget to check your PayPal email address for the download link from SendOwl (the delivery service I use)!
$7.99 Botany Packet — (80 pages) Plant Classification, Life Cycle of the Moss, Fern, Conifer, Angiosperms, Parts of a Flower, Parts of a Seed, Seed & Fruit Development, Monocots vs Dicots – plus Carnivorous Plants Mini-Unit
$8.99 Ocean Unit – Layers of the Ocean/Ocean Zone: (100+ pages) Marine Habitats, Coral Reefs, Tide Pools, Water Form Words, Ocean navigation, Features of the ocean floor, salinity, ocean tides & currents, ocean life, bioluminescence & more!
$7.99 Scientific Classification and Taxonomy Packet (100 pages) dichotomous key activity, Linnaeus & the history of classification, learn the Animalia phyla (Annelids, Platyhelminthes, Nematodes, Cnidaria, Animalia, etc.)
Again, you can see the Biology BUNDLE Page for lots more pictures!
Don’t forget to check your PayPal email address for the download link.Visit Our Store to see our other packets.
Biology Unit: Ecosystems & Biomes and More
Biology: Cell Unit
Cell Unit: (Now more than 150 pages) The Cells Unit covers cell theory, prokaryotic vs. eukaryotic cells, animal vs. plant cells, the organelles of the cell, and now goes into more detail about chloroplast anatomy, the layers of a leaf, photosynthesis, and more.
Biology: Botany Unit
Botany Packet — Plant Classification, Life Cycle of the Moss, Fern, Conifer, Angiosperms, Parts of a Flower, Parts of a Seed, Seed & Fruit Development, Monocots vs Dicots – plus Carnivorous Plants Mini-Unit
Biology: Ocean Unit
This unit is a study of the hydrosphere — Earth’s oceans, tides, marine life (including bioluminescent critters, and more!)
In our ocean studies we explored
- Marine Habitats
- Coral Reefs
- Tide Pools
- Water Form Words (bay, estuary, lagoon, fjord, etc.)
- Features of the Ocean Floor (trench, seamount, guyot, etc.)
- Ocean Navigation (early navigation with astrolabes & the constellations, modern SONAR)
- Tides (and the phases of the moon)
- Ocean Currents (Surface & Deep Sea Currents)
- Ocean Life:
- Special Body Features
- Fish Body Shape and Movement
- Biological Interactions: Mutualism and Commensalism in the Ocean
- Deep Sea Life – Bioluminescence, Anglerfish
We also talked about the ocean zones and different layers of the ocean again (which we covered three or four years ago).
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