Activity Introduction

Quick summary: Students will explore the difference between common and scientific names of organisms and why scientists use a standard classification system. They will fill out a table of scientific and common names of well-known species. They will then create a picture book page displaying the hierarchical system of classification in picture form.

Learning intentions: 

  • Students understand that different languages and cultures have inconsistent common names for organisms
  • Students understand why scientists use a standard classification system
  • Students understand how to use a hierarchical system of classification, such as kingdom, phylum, class, order, family, genus, species.

21st century skills: 

Cultural Understanding Critical Thinking Creative Thinking  Communicating

Australian Curriculum Mapping

Content descriptions: 

Year 7 Science

  • Classification helps organise the diverse group of organisms (ACSSU111)
  • Communicate ideas, findings and evidence based solutions to problems using scientific language, and representations, using digital technologies as appropriate (ACSIS133)

Syllabus outcomes: SC4-5WS, SC4-14LW.

General capabilities: Literacy, Creative and Critical Thinking.

Cross-curriculum priority: Sustainability OI.2.

Relevant parts of Year 7 achievement standards: They predict the effect of human and environmental changes on interactions between organisms and classify and organise diverse organisms based on observable differences. They communicate their ideas, methods and findings using scientific language and appropriate representations.

Topic: STEM, Sustainability, Biodiversity.

This lesson is part of the wider unit of work Backyard Bush Blitz – Year 7.

Time required: 75 mins.

Level of teacher scaffolding: Medium – facilitate class activities

Resources required:

Keywords: Classification, taxonomy, common names, scientific names, binomial nomenclature

Bush Blitz is Australia’s largest nature discovery program run by EarthWatch who kindly provided the images in these lessons. Thank you to the Ian Potter Foundation and John T Reid Charitable Trusts for generously supporting the development of these lessons.

Cool Australia’s curriculum team continually reviews and refines our resources to be in line with changes to the Australian Curriculum.

Worksheets

Teacher Worksheet

Teacher Preparation

Learning intentions: Students will…

  • ... understand that different languages and cultures have inconsistent common names for organisms
  • … understand why scientists use a standard classification system
  • … understand how to use a hierarchical system of classification, such as kingdom, phylum, class, order, family, genus, species.

Success criteria: Students can…

  • ... recognise the difference between common and scientific names
  • ... explain why scientific names are used by scientists
  • ... identify the genus and species when given a scientific name
  • ... use the hierarchical system of classification for an organism
  • ... display information in pictorial form
  • ... work collaboratively and independently.

Teacher content information: It is estimated there are 435,000-510,000 undiscovered species in Australia. 45% of the land and over 90% of our marine areas have never been comprehensively surveyed by scientists. This leaves huge gaps in our knowledge a

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Student Worksheet

Thought Starter: Why is a panther also called a jaguar?

Naming Organisms

If someone knew the name of an animal in a language you didn’t speak, what information would you need to identify the animal?

Can you think of a faster way for people from different countries to talk about the same animal?

Scientific Names

In pairs, fill out the following table. If you get stuck you can ask other pairs for help.

Genus Species Common Name
Chroicocephalus novaehollandiae Silver Gull
Panthera leo
tigris
Canis familiaris
lupus Wolf
Macropus (Hint: Macropod - “large foot”) rufus (red-haired)
Macropus giganteus

Picture Book Page

Instructions: Using A3 paper provided, your group must write a page in a picture book that will show a primary school-aged child how the organism is classified, using words and pictures. For each stage (kingdom, phylum, class, order, family, genus, species) you must draw a picture that represents what

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