Year 6, Topic 1, Switched on Science Classifying Critters Did you know? Pears, peaches and apricots are members of the rose family? Peanuts arent nuts at all. Theyre a bean. A prairie dog is not a dog at all. Its a

type of squirrel! Lets think like scientists! You have found a plant that you dont recognise. What could you do to try and name it? Are trees plants? How can you tell?

In this topic, you will: Understand how living things are classified into groups scientifically. Know the difference between invertebrates and vertebrates. Observe similarities and differences and use them to classify living things. Key vocabulary


Fauna Vertebrate Invertebrate Mammal Bird Amphibian Reptile Fish


Mushroom Toadstool Fermentation Microbe Bacteria Species Genus Organism Spot the difference

How are these two things the same? How are they different? What makes an animal different to a plant? Vertebrates There are 5 main groups of vertebrate. amphibian mammal

fish bird reptile Gives birth to live young. Doesnt lay eggs.

Has hair Mammals Feeds its young with milk. Warm-blooded Some lays jelly-like eggs.

Slimy, scaly skin. Fish Lives in water. Has gills. Cold-blooded Lays jelly-like eggs. Has to return to water to lay its eggs.

Slimy, smooth skin. Amphibians Warm-blooded Lays leathery eggs on land. Dry, scaly skin.

Reptiles Cold-blooded Lays eggs with a hard shell. Covered in feathers. Has wings. Birds

Has a beak. Does not have teeth. Warm-Blooded How are these two animals the same? How are they different?

Mammals dont lay eggs. They give birth to live young. Amphibian eggs are jellylike and laid in water like a/w 6.14 this frog spawn.

Some fish lay jelly-like eggs. Others lay large eggs, like this sharks egg. Reptile eggs are laid on land, and have leathery shells. Birds lay eggs with hard shells.

Reptiles are cold-blooded. They have to sit in the sun to warm themselves up. Fish and amphibians are also cold blooded. Birds and mammals are warmblooded. They can live in places where it would be too cold for reptiles and amphibians.

Invertebrates Invertebrates do not have a backbone Some have a hard shell on the outside of their bodies called an exoskeleton Some dont have a skeleton at all. How are these two animals the same?

How are they different? Insects Has a hard skeleton outside the body. Has six legs Body has three main segments Such as : beetles, bees, ants

Spiders Has a hard skeleton outside the body. Has eight legs Body has two main segments Such as : spiders and scorpions

Marvellous Microbes Bacteria are tiny, single celled organisms. They are quite different to plants and animals. They reproduce by splitting themselves in two. They are so small that we cannot see them without a microscope. Some bacteria cause diseases, but other bacteria can be very useful to us. Bad Bacteria: Plague

Plague was caused by a bacteria called Yersinia pestis. This was spread to humans by fleas which were carried on rats. The Black Death 1346-1350 Between 75 million and 200 million people died. The Great Plague of London 1664-1666

Roughly 100,000 people died. Good Bacteria Some foods wouldnt exist without bacteria. Special bacteria change milk into cheese and yoghurt. Bacteria (and fungi) play an important role in decomposing dead / waste material. Without bacteria, things would not rot away.

Is it a plant? In what ways is this mushroom like plant? In what ways is it not like a plant? Mushrooms, toadstools and mould are all examples of fungi. They are not plants because they cannot make their own food.

They do not make pollen like plants do, they reproduce by making spores. They dont have any chlorophyll. Yeast Yeast is a single-celled fungi. It is very important for making bread, beer and wine.

Mouldy Food What happens when food turns mouldy? What different ways can we stop our food going mouldy? What did people do before the days of freezers to preserve their food? The Kingdoms Living things can be grouped into five main kingdoms:

Animals Plants Fungi Protists Bacteria Animal: Any multicellular organism that feeds on plants or other animals. Plant: A living organism that is able to make its own food by the process of photosynthesis.

Fungi: A group of organisms that include microorganisms like yeast and moulds. Examples of fungi include athletes foot, ringworm, mushrooms and toadstools. Bacteria: Simple single-celled organisms without a nucleus. Protists: A group of microbes that do not fit into the other categories. Include amoeba, algae and protozoa.

Horse Chestnut Oak Holly Birch Sycamore

Ivy Can you make a key to identify these leaves? The system we use to classify living things was developed by Carl Linnaeus He was born in

Sweden on 23rd May 1707. Linnaeus spent a lot of his life studying and collecting plants and animals. At that time, names were very confusing because people in different places would have different names for the same plant or animal. For example in different parts of the world, the word squirrel can mean different animals.

German: French: eichhrnchen cureuil Plus the same animal could be called different

things in different languages. Italian: Portuguese: scoiattolo esquilo Linnaeus wanted a system that everyone could understand.

He wanted every living thing to have a name that was unique a name that only that particular animal or plant had. In his system - each plant and animal was given a name made up of two words in Latin. The first word is a family name, like your surname. This is called the genus. The second name is called the species, and is like your first name. Smith, John

For example, the Horse Chestnut was called Aesculus hippocastanum Genus name. Species name. Named after the roman name for an edible acorn

Hippo was the latin for horse Castanum is the latin for chestnut Living things with the same family name are related. For example all bushy tailed squirrels were given the name Sciurus meaning Shadow tail. Sciurus vulgaris = red squirrel

Sciurus carolinensis = grey squirrel This group of plants have the name Echinocereus From the Greek word echinos meaning a porcupine, and cereus meaning like a candle. Can you think why? They are sometimes called

Hedgehog Cactus! Linnaeus published this system in a book. Scientists soon started using this way of naming every living thing on Earth. Carl Linnaeus had invented a way of naming living things that everyone all

over the world could understand.

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