Lion Country Safari
Classification 2 Program
(Designed for grades 4-8)
To identify each of the five major groups of vertebrates, as well as to identify similarities and differences among the groups.
There are millions of species of animals on earth. Some of these species are very different from each other, while others share similar characteristics. Scientists use these shared characteristics to place living things into major groups (mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians, fish, arthropods, vertebrates and invertebrates, those having live births and those which lay eggs) according to their physical characteristics and behaviors. Classifying animals in this way makes it easier for zoologists to study earth’s biodiversity. One of the main differences among animal species is that some have a backbone while others do not. Animals without backbones are invertebrates, while animals with backbones are vertebrates. Vertebrates are placed into five major categories: fish, amphibians, reptiles, birds, and mammals. This program will focus on vertebrates by introducing the students to Linnaeus’ system of Classification, which is a scientific sorting based on physical characteristics. Students will be introduced to live examples of these five classes, reviewing the characteristics that the animals in each class have in common, and contrasting the differences. Students will be able to analyze and describe why animals are classified as they are, and compare and contrast the function of organs and other physical structures of plants and animals, including humans.
This program meets the following Next Generation Sunshine State Standards and is STEAM compliant:
SC.3.L.15.1: Classify animals into major groups (mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians, fish, arthropods, vertebrates and invertebrates, those having live births and those which lay eggs) according to their physical characteristics and behaviors.
SC.5.L.14.2: Compare and contrast the function of organs and other physical structures of plants and animals, including humans, for example: some animals have skeletons for support — some with internal skeletons others with exoskeletons — while some plants have stems for support.
SC.5.L.17.1: Compare and contrast adaptations displayed by animals and plants that enable them to survive in different environments such as life cycles variations, animal behaviors and physical characteristics.
SC.6.L.15.1: Analyze and describe how and why organisms are classified according to shared characteristics with emphasis on the Linnaean system combined with the concept of Domains.
MAFS.4.NBT.2.5: Multiply a whole number of up to four digits by a one-digit whole number, and multiply two two-digit numbers, using strategies based on place value and the properties of operations.
MAFS.5.NBT.2.5: Fluently multiply multi-digit whole numbers using the standard algorithm.
MAFS.6.RP.1.1: Understand the concept of a ratio and use ratio language to describe a ratio relationship between two quantities.
MAFS.6.RP.1.2: Understand the concept of a unit rate a/b associated with a ratio a:b with b ≠ 0, and use rate language in the context of a ratio relationship.
MAFS.7.RP.1.2: Recognize and represent proportional relationships between quantities.
VA.4.F.3.1: Discuss how analytical skills and thinking strategies are applied to both art production and problem-solving in other content areas.
VA.5.F.1.2: Develop multiple solutions to solve artistic problems and justify personal artistic or aesthetic choices.
VA.5.F.3.4: Follow directions and complete art work in the time frame allotted to show development of 21st Century skills.
VA.68.C.3.3: Use analytical skills to understand meaning and explain connections with other contexts.
- Practice grouping items according to their similar characteristics (examples: texture, size, color).
- Ask students to list animals that they see in their backyard or in their neighborhood. Ask them to classify these animals.
- Download and ask the students to complete the Classification worksheet;
- Ask students to take photos of the animals that they see on their visit to Lion Country Safari. Later, they can classify them into the 5 vertebrate groups.
- On their visit, ask students to complete this chart. Discuss their results in your classroom.