Living Things and Their Habitats

Science Year 4 Name That Living Thing!

You are needed to become experts in the use of classification keys to help group, identify and name a variety of living things! Learn about the 7 characteristics of a living thing; sort living things in a number of ways; make a dichotomous classification key to identify local invertebrates; make observational drawings and a group large-scale drawing of an insect. Finally demonstrate your knowledge of classification keys to a young invited audience.

Session 1 A living thing?

Objectives

Become an expert in the 7 characteristics of a living thing. Make a poster and explain life processes to younger children. Sort living things in a variety of ways.

Science Objectives
i) Recognise that living things can be grouped in a variety of ways.

ii) Explore and use classification keys to help group, identify and name a variety of living things in their local and wider environment.

Working Scientifically

  1. Ask relevant questions and use different types of scientific enquiries to answer them.
  2. Identify differences, similarities or changes related to simple scientific ideas and processes.

You Will Need

Provided Resources

  • Living things poem
  • MRS NERG explanation sheet
  • MRS NERG PowerPoint

Additional Resources

  • Large sheets of paper (some for rough work, some for posters)

Teaching and Activities

Teaching

  • Understand the characteristics of a living thing and to begin to consider that living things can be grouped in a variety of ways.

Activities

  1. Understand the 7 characteristics of a living thing.
  2. Explain one of the characteristics in more detail to someone else.
  3. Discuss which living things they would expect to find in their local environment.
  4. Consider which living things they would definitely not find locally and why.
  5. Begin to understand that living things can be grouped in a variety of ways.
  6. Ask relevant questions about living things and their habitats.

Investigation - sorting, classifying and idendifying
Ask relevant questions about living things and their habitats and begin to group them.

Vocabulary
Alive, dead, never been alive, movement, reproduction, sensitivity, nutrition, excretion, respiration, growth, habitat, local

Session 2 Local living things - what are they?

Objectives

Take a trip within the local environment, observe habitats and record the different living things you find.

Science Objectives
i) Explore and use classification keys to help group, identify and name a variety of living things in their local and wider environment.

Working Scientifically

  1. Ask relevant questions and use different types of scientific enquiries to answer them.
  2. Make systematic and careful observations.
  3. Record findings using simple scientific language, drawings, labelled diagrams, keys, bar charts, and tables.

Extended Writing Opportunities
Non-chronological writing: Write a newspaper article, for the Nature column, about your observations during your trip within the local environment.

You Will Need

Provided Resources

  • Post-it notes record sheet (1 each)

Additional Resources

  • Clipboards (1 each)
  • Cameras (as many as possible)
  • Small plastic bags or petri dishes for samples
  • Tweezers
  • Magnifying glasses (as many as possible)
  • Plastic teaspoons and paintbrushes
  • Flipchart

Weblinks
Leaf identification PDF from www.woodlandtrust.org.uk
Spotter sheet downloads from www.woodlandtrust.org.uk
Instructions for safe and considerate collection methods for insects (Pg.3) from www.forestry.gov.uk
Minibeast identification from www.science-resources.co.uk

Teaching and Activities

Teaching

  • Ask questions about the local habitats and to carefully observe and record the living things in the local area.

Activities

  1. Ask questions about local habitats and consider how to answer them.
  2. Take a trip within their local environment (the school grounds or further if possible).
  3. Carefully observe the micro-habitats they can see around them.
  4. Record different living things they can see (animals and plants).
  5. Gather a small sample of different leaves and photos/notes of different animals.

Investigation - exploring, sorting, classifying and identifying
Observe local habitats and record living things they see around them.

Vocabulary
Habitat, living thing, alive, dead, never been alive, plant, animal, insect, local, natural, man-made, observation, record, vertebrate, invertebrate, arachnid, question

Session 3 How are living things classified?

Objectives

Look carefully at features of the living things you found in the local area. Make a branching database to sort and identify the local invertebrates. This can be linked to a mathematics block on statistics and data handling.

Science Objectives
i) Recognise that living things can be grouped in a variety of ways.

ii) Explore and use classification keys to help group, identify and name a variety of living things in their local and wider environment.

Working Scientifically

  1. Ask relevant questions and use different types of scientific enquiries to answer.
  2. Gather, record, classify and present data to help answer questions.
  3. Record findings using simple scientific language, drawings, labelled diagrams and keys.

Other Curriculum Areas
Computing (This session can cover some computing objectives if appropriate software is available )

  • Select, use and combine a variety of software (including internet services) that can accomplish given goals, including collecting, analysing, evaluating and presenting data.

Extended Writing Opportunities
Biography: Research some key facts about Carl Linnaeus and write a short biography about him explaining his importance.

You Will Need

Provided Resources

  • Classification PowerPoint
  • Classification sheets
  • Plenary PowerPoint

Additional Resources

  • Photos of living things from field trip
  • Large sheets of paper

Weblinks
Explains different animal classes from www.kidzone.ws
Clip about classification of living things from www.bbc.co.uk
Minibeast id from www.woodlandtrust.org.uk
Leaf identification PDF from www.woodlandtrust.org.uk
Software programme that creates branching data from www.flexible.co.uk
New species of jellyfish from http://news.nationalgeographic.com
New species of mantis from www.eurekalert.org
New species of frog from www.theguardian.com

Teaching and Activities

Teaching

  • Observe features of living things and sort them into different groups.

Activities

  1. Understand why it is useful to classify living things.
  2. Answer questions about the features of insects, arachnids and plants found in the local area.
  3. Create a branching database/dichotomous key to sort and identify local invertebrates.
  4. Understand why it is important to make accurate observations when describing features of living things.

Investigation - sorting, classifying and identifying
Create a branching database to sort and identify local invertebrates.

Vocabulary
Classify, sort, group, similar, different, branching database, identify, variety, question, explore, key

Session 4 Closer inspection

Objectives

Use a branching database/dichotomous classification key. Make accurate observational drawings of an invertebrate found in the local environment.

Science Objectives
i) Recognise that living things can be grouped in a variety of ways.

ii) Explore and use classification keys to help group, identify and name a variety of living things in their local and wider environment.

Working Scientifically

  1. Ask relevant questions and use different types of scientific enquiries to answer them.
  2. Make systematic and careful observations and, where appropriate, take accurate measurements using standard units, using a range of equipment, including thermometers and data logger.

Other Curriculum Areas
Art

  • Create sketch books to record their observations and use them to review and revisit ideas.
  • Improve their mastery of art and design techniques, including drawing.

Teaching and Activities

Teaching

  • Know that scientists are able to classify living things by closely observing them.

Activities

  1. Use a branching database/dichotomous classification key.
  2. Look at the photographs by artist Levon Biss.
  3. Discuss the photographs and consider whether or not they like them and why.
  4. Make careful and accurate observational drawings of an invertebrate found in the local environment.
  5. Make a larger scale drawing of the insect to show the details more clearly.

Investigation - classifying and identifying
Make close observational drawings and large-scale drawings. Understand that tiny details of features help with classification.

Vocabulary
Observation, details, identify, classify, invertebrate

Session 5 Enormous insects

Objectives

Make a group large-scale drawing of an insect. Understand that accurate knowledge of the features of living things is vital to classification. Test your knowledge of classification by playing a game.

Science Objectives
i) Recognise that living things can be grouped in a variety of ways.

ii) Explore and use classification keys to help group, identify and name a variety of living things in their local and wider environment.

Working Scientifically

1. Record findings using simple scientific language, drawings, labelled diagrams, keys, bar charts and tables.

Other Curriculum Areas
Art

  • Improve their mastery of art and design techniques, including drawing and sculpture with a range of materials.
  • Invent and create their own works of art, craft and design.

You Will Need

Provided Resources

  • Images of British invertebrates (same sheet as previous session)
  • Liquorice Allsorts dichotomous key resource
  • How to expand an image sheet

Additional Resources

  • A2 drawing paper
  • Drawing pencils
  • Colouring pencils
  • Collage materials

Weblinks
Levon Biss website from http://microsculpture.net/
Classification game from www.bbc.co.uk
Classification game from http://sciencenetlinks.com

Teaching and Activities

Teaching

  • Notice the tiny details that will help scientists to further classify living things and to record these details in a careful drawing of insects.

Activities

  1. Collaborate with others to contribute to a large-scale drawing of an insect.
  2. Understand that it is the tiny details that will help scientists further classify living things.
  3. Complete their independent drawing.
  4. Test their knowledge of the classification of living things by playing a game.

Vocabulary
Observation, classify, detail

Session 6 I'm thinking of a living thing...

Objectives

Write a branching database for a variety of living things. Test your classification key by playing ‘Guess Who?' Demonstrate your learning to younger children.

Science Objectives
i) Recognise that living things can be grouped in a variety of ways.

ii) Explore and use classification keys to help group, identify and name a variety of living things in their local and wider environment.

Working Scientifically

  1. Use straightforward scientific evidence to answer questions or to support findings.

Other Curriculum Areas
English

  • Discuss what they are learning and develop wider skills in spoken language.
  • Use language in a greater variety of situations, for a variety of audiences and purposes, including through drama, formal presentations and debate.

Teaching and Activities

Teaching

  • Create and use a classification key to name a variety of living things in the wider environment.

Activities

  1. Write a branching database for a variety of living things from the wider world.
  2. Test their classification key by playing ‘Guess Who?’
  3. Demonstrate an understanding of their learning by explaining it to others.

Investigation - researching and analysing secondary sources, classifying and identifying
Write a branching database for a variety of living things in the wider environment.

Vocabulary
Question, classify, group, teach