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Cotmanhay Junior School

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Living things and their habitats

Classifying living things


National curriculum content

  • Describe how living things are classified into broad groups according to common observable characteristics and based on similarities and differences, including microorganisms, plants and animals
  • Give reasons for classifying plants and animals based on specific characteristics


Lesson objectives

  1. Sort items using a classification tree
  2. Create a classification key
  3. Explain who Carl Linnaeus was and why he is important
  4. Explain the ‘5 kingdoms’ and understand how bacteria works
  5. Investigate which conditions helps mould grow and fungi reproduce
  6. Investigate which conditions helps mould grow and fungi reproduce
  7. Generate an explanation text


What we want children to know

  • How broad groupings (e.g. animals or plants) can be subdivided
  • The significance of the work of scientists such as Carl Linnaeus
  • How mould and fungi reproduce


What skills we want children to develop

  • Classify commonly found vertebrates and invertebrates
  • Discuss reasons why living things are placed in one group and not another
  • Use classification systems and keys to identify unfamiliar animals and plants
  • Report and present findings from enquiries
  • Identify scientific evidence that has been used to support or refute ideas or arguments



Amphibian, bacteria, bird, fauna, flora, fungi, genus, invertebrate, kingdom, microbe, mould, species, vertebrate