Children learn that evolutionary taxonomy is the most modern way of grouping organisms. They learn that it is a development of Linnaeus' system, but is superior because it shows how closely organisms are related to each other. Children group 5 mammals (including homo sapiens) into an evolutionary diagram. They use this to explain how closely related the other 4 mammals are to modern humans. They work out the binomial (genus-species) name for each organism.
Children learn that a dichotomous classification key has exactly two answers to each question. They use the 6 pictures of animals provided to create their own dichotomous classification key. Children discuss why some classification questions are better than others.
Children learn that Carl Linnaues developed a classification system which placed organisms into hierarchical groups. They learn about binomial nomenclature. Children sort 20 different objects into Linnaeus' kingdoms. They discuss the elements from Linnaeus's system that we still use, those that we have abandoned, and why.
Children learn that animals can be classified as vertebrates (those that have a spinal column) and invertebrates. They learn that verterbates have a common ancestor and comprise the fish and tetrapods. Children identify 18 organisms as vertebrates or invertebrates and place them in the correct sub-group (fish, birds, mammals, amphibians, reptiles, insects, arachnids, molluscs, worms).
Children learn that arthropods are a large and diverse phylum (group), comprising insects, arachnids, crustaceans and myriapods. They learn that all arthropods have a segmented body, a hard exoskeleton, and jointed legs. Children use a dichotomous classification key to identify 10 different arthropods. They discuss why arthropods have certain body features in common.
Children learn that one way of identifying trees is by examining their leaves. They learn terms used to describe leaves, such as pinnate, palmate, simple, compound and lobed. Children look at the leaves of 5 different British trees and identify them using a dichotomous key. They discuss which of these trees they have seen in the local area.
Children choose 4 different local micro-habitats to investigate. They predict and then observe which types of invertebrate they might find in each micro-habitat, using the arthropod identification key provided. Children record their results in a table and then transfer their results to a bar chart. They discuss which micro-habitat is most diverse in terms of invertebrate population.
Children choose an area in the local environment to study. Using the tree classification key provided, children complete a tally chart showing the frequency of each type of tree in the local area. They transfer their results to a bar chart.