Scientific Classification

Explore scientific classification activities.

Living Book

In the primary classroom, we offer children vocabulary to help them classify their world. For example, we give them the terms large and small so that they can differentiate between the size of a tree and the size of a small insect. We offer them the names of geometric shapes so that they can identify the elliptical leaf on a tree or point out the octagonal shape of the stop sign. We also offer them terms to help them classify the objects in their world in a more scientific manner.

We begin scientific classification by introducing the terms living and non-living. We introduce the children to the definitions of living and non-living and give them practice classifying objects in the environment based upon what they have learned. Over time, we present activities that help children categorize items as plants or animals, distinguish between invertebrates or vertebrates, and further classify vertebrates as birds, amphibians, reptiles, fish, or mammals.

Living and Non-Living Activities

What is Living and Non-Living ages 3 and up

Directions: Take a moment to read “What is Living and Non-Living” with your child. Review each of the characteristics of living creatures and discuss how non-living objects do not have these same qualities. Older children may read the information independently.

What is Living and Nonliving.pdf
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Living and Non-Living Sorting Activity ages 4 and upLiving vs Nonliving

Directions: Print and cut out the Living and Non-Living heading cards. Print and cut the photograph cards as well. Mix up the cards. Sort the pictures into two columns: Living and Non-Living.

Living or Non Living Sorting.pdf
1 MB
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Living and Non-Living Scavenger Hunt ages 3 and up

Directions: Print out the Scavenger hunt that is appropriate for your child.

Living Nonliving Scavenger Hunt Photos only.pdf
424 KB
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Living and Nonliving Scavenger Hunt-words.pdf
134 KB
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Is it Living or Non-Living? Reading Activity ages 5 and up

Directions:  Print out the “Is it Living or Non-Living?” activity sheet. Read the words listed at the bottom of the page. Consider if the word describes something that is living or non-living. Write the word in the correct column using beautiful cursive handwriting.

Is it Living or Non Living.pdf
51 KB
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Plant and Animal Activities

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Plants and Animal Classification ages 3 and up

Directions: Take a moment to read “Plants and Animals” with your child. Review how both plants and animals have the characteristics of living creatures, but also have qualities that differentiate them from each other. Older children may read the information independently.

Plant and Animal Classification.pdf
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Plant or Animal Sorting Activity ages 4 and up

Directions: Print and cut out the Plant and Animal heading cards. Print and cut the photograph cards as well. Mix up the cards. Sort the pictures into two columns: Plants and Animals.

Plant or Animal Sorting Activity.pdf
4 MB
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Plant and Animal Scavenger Hunt ages 5 and up

Directions: Print out the scavenger hunt sheet. Go outside and look for the items on the list. Make a note of the things that are plants and the items that are animals. On the second page, draw a picture of one plant and one animal.

Plant and Animal Scavenger Hunt-words.pdf
167 KB
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Vertebrate and Invertebrate Activities

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Vertebrate and Invertebrate Classification ages 3 ½ and up

Directions: Take a moment to read about vertebrates and invertebrates with your child. Review how these two categories of animals differ from one another. Older children may read the information independently.

Vertebrates and Invertebrates Classification.pdf
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Vertebrate or Invertebrate Sorting Activity ages 4 and up

Directions: Print and cut out the Vertebrate and Invertebrate heading cards. Print and cut the photograph cards as well. Mix up the cards. Sort the animal pictures into two columns: Vertebrates and Invertebrates.

Vertebrate or Invertebrate Sorting.pdf
1 MB
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Invertebrate Scavenger Hunt ages 4 ½ and up

Directions: Print out the scavenger hunt sheet. Go outside and look for invertebrates that are commonly found in the backyard. Observe the animals carefully, taking care not to disturb them or their home. Check off any of the animals you find!

Invertebrate Scavenger Hunt.pdf
242 KB
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Vertebrate and Invertebrate Word Find ages 5 ½ and up

Directions: Print out the word find. Search for the names of vertebrate and invertebrate animals in the puzzle. The animal names can be found across, down, or diagonally. Circle the words when you find them!

Vertebrate and Invertebrate Word Find.pdf
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Classification of Vertebrates