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Classifying Animals

Kit #550S
Classifying Animals

How and why do biologists classify animals? Students work together to arrange a set of 18 Animal Cards into groups and then adjust their groupings as they learn how scientists classify these animals into phyla. By identifying the common features of animals within each phylum, students learn what kinds of characteristics define the major animal phyla. Each card provides a color photo of an organism as well as relevant information about its skeletal, circulatory, and respiratory systems. Students also examine the relationship between kingdoms and phyla by placing the Animal Cards within the context of Classification Cards that summarize the five major kingdoms.

Details at a Glance

  • 1-2 Days | 1-2 ~50 minute class periods
  • 1 Activity
  • Accommodates unllimited classes, each with 8 groups of 4 students
  • Meets our criteria for supporting literacy
  • All materials are non-consumable
  • Includes digital resources
  • Developed in partnership with SEPUP

Scientific Concepts

•Millions of species of animals, plants, fungi, and microorganisms are
alive today. Animal species alone are remarkably varied.
•Classification systems help scientists organize and identify the two–three
million known species. Biologists classify organisms into large groups
called kingdoms. Each kingdom is further divided into groups called
phyla. Specific characteristics define the major animal phyla.
•The phylum Chordata contains the vertebrate animals most people think
of when they think of animals. The invertebrate phyla, however, are
numerous and more diverse.
•Classifications systems can vary based on the characteristics used to
differentiate organisms.
KEY VOCABULARY: classification/classify, genus, introduced species, invertebrate/vertebrate, kingdom, phylum/phyla, species

Guides & Student Sheets

Our kits and modules provide you with everything you need so you can open, review, and teach the material confidently the next day.

  • Full downloadable Teacher Guide with background information, detailed instruction, example data and answers
  • Downloadable Student Sheets with age appropriate background information, full procedure(s), and analysis questions
  • All materials necessary to carry out the investigation
  • Safety Data Sheets

Kit Components

  • 8 sets of 18 Animal Cards
  • 8 sets of 5 Classification Cards
  • 32 Student Worksheets and Guides
  • 32 Student Data Sheets: Biologists Classification
  • 1 Teacher’s Guide