Outstanding Science | Primary Science Resources for the National Curriculum

Primary Science Resources for the National Curriculum

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KS2 - Year 4 - Living things and their habitats

Grouping organismsFree! 

Outstanding Science Year 4 - Living things and their habitats | OS4A003

In this 2-player game, children cut out 24 images of animals and 12 challenge cards. They take turns challenging each other to group the images according to the challenge cards. Groups include tetrapods, herbivores, and mammals. When they have finished, children choose their favourite grouping method and use it to complete a 1-set Venn diagram.

  • 4a2: explore and use classification keys to help group, identify and name a variety of living things in their local and wider environment
I can group organisms in different ways.
Outstanding Science Year 4 - Living things and their habitats | Grouping organisms

Grouping animals 

Outstanding Science Year 4 - Living things and their habitats | OS4A001

Children learn about 5 different groups of animals - fish, amphibians, reptiles, bird, and mammals - and how we can identify them from their body features, behaviour, and life cycles. Children cut out 20 different images of these animals and place them in the correct group. They explain what the animals in each group have in common.

  • 4a1: recognise that living things can be grouped in a variety of ways
I can group animals according to whether they are fish, amphibians, reptiles, birds or mammals.
Outstanding Science Year 4 - Living things and their habitats | Grouping animals

Vertebrates and invertebrates 

Outstanding Science Year 4 - Living things and their habitats | OS4A002

Children learn that animals can be classified as vertebrates (having a spine) or invertebrates (lacking a spine). They cut out 15 different pictures of animals and place them in the correct group.

  • 4a1: recognise that living things can be grouped in a variety of ways
I can identify whether an animal is a vertebrate or an invertebrate.
Outstanding Science Year 4 - Living things and their habitats | Vertebrates and invertebrates

Identifying familiar organisms 

Outstanding Science Year 4 - Living things and their habitats | OS4A004

Children learn that a dichotomous key (a branching classification key in which each question has exactly two answers) can be used to identify organisms. Children use the key provided to identify 12 different animals. They use a word bank to help them name the animals.

  • 4a2: explore and use classification keys to help group, identify and name a variety of living things in their local and wider environment
I can use a classification key to identify familiar organisms.
Outstanding Science Year 4 - Living things and their habitats | Identifying familiar organisms

Identifying invertebrates 

Outstanding Science Year 4 - Living things and their habitats | OS4A005

Children use a dichotomous classification key to identify 9 different types of invertebrate (centipede, slug, worm, snail, ant, beetle, woodlouse, spider and millipede). They cut and paste them in place and name them with the help of a word bank.

  • 4a3: recognise that environments can change and that this can sometimes pose dangers to living things.
I can use a classification key to identify invertebrates.
Outstanding Science Year 4 - Living things and their habitats | Identifying invertebrates

Creating a classification key 

Outstanding Science Year 4 - Living things and their habitats | OS4A006

Children investigate the local area and draw pictures of 8 different organisms. They create their own classification key by repeatedly asking dichotomous questions (with exactly two answers), splitting the group up until each group only has one member. They discuss the best sort of questions to ask when making a classification key.

  • 4a3: recognise that environments can change and that this can sometimes pose dangers to living things.
I can create a classification key for a group of organisms from the local environment.
Outstanding Science Year 4 - Living things and their habitats | Creating a classification key

Habitats throughout the year 

Outstanding Science Year 4 - Living things and their habitats | OS4A007

Children select a habitat in the local environment. They draw a picture of how it appears now, and describe or measure the weather, temperature and hours of daylight. They predict what this habitat will look like in 6 months' time, and identify any changes that might take place. If possible, children revisit the site in 6 months and investigate the habitat as it actually appears.

    I can investigate how a habitat changes throughout the year.
    Outstanding Science Year 4 - Living things and their habitats | Habitats throughout the year

    The effects of deforestation 

    Outstanding Science Year 4 - Living things and their habitats | OS4A008

    Children learn what deforestation is, and why humans deliberately choose to cut down trees and destroy forests. They learn about several negative effects of deforestation. Children use the writing frame provided to create their own information text on deforestation.

      I can explain the reasons for deforestation and its negative effects.
      Outstanding Science Year 4 - Living things and their habitats | The effects of deforestation