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Ranger Stu's Virtual Zoo - Week 5 - Classification

Its Week 5 of Ranger Stu's Virtual Zoo. This week it is the turn of a very common subject covered in schools... Classification!


When I bring my animals to school workshops and animal parties I always bring along 4 classes of animal. Invertebrates (minibeasts were covered in week 2 of Ranger Stu's Virtual Zoo), reptiles, birds and mammals. This means that we have a large variety of animals to educate the children with but it also means that we cover a curriculum staple, classification!


As usual on Wednesday I will be posting a video on my YouTube channel (subscribe here!). We will cover all of the major groups of animal and i will show you an example of each from my zoo!

So what is classification?

Animals can be placed into groups which they share similarities with. The differences between each group is how we classify them.

For example a whale shark is a fish because it lives in water, is cold blooded and breathes through gills but a whale is a mammal because it is warm blooded and its babies drink milk from its mother. They both appear similar but when we look closely we can see the differences.


Here are 6 groups of animals and the differences between them.


Invertebrates - These animals also known as mini beasts have one major thing in common. They DO NOT have a backbone. There are millions of different types of invertebrate, from the tiny and microscopic tardigrade to the massive colossal squid!


Vertebrates - The animals all have 1 thing in common... they DO have a backbone!


Fish - Fish are cold blooded, most lay eggs, they have scales and fins and they breathe underwater using gills.


Amphibians - Amphibians are cold blooded, they have wet smooth skin, they live on land and water and they lay their eggs into freshwater.


Reptiles - Reptiles are cold blooded, they have dry scaly skin, they mainly live on land and they lay their eggs on land.


Birds - Birds are warm blooded, have feathers, most of them can fly and all of them lay eggs.


Mammals - Mammals are warm blooded, have hair, most give birth to live young and they all drink milk from their mothers.


You can break down animal groups further such as

- Mammal

- Primate

- Monkey


But we will stick with these 6 groups for today!



EYFS - Classify your toys!

The easiest way for a young child to learn about classification is to classify their toys!


Put 5 pieces of paper on the floor each one labelled with an animal group name and a description of the characteristics of that group (use the above group descriptions if you wish.).


Grab as many animal toys and teddies as you can and then look at their features, can you put them on the page that describes them best?

This is great fun if you have toys that are slightly different such as a unicorn!




KS1 and KS2 - Classification work sheets.

Once again Twinkl has come to the rescue! Don't forget that you can download twinkl resources for free! (during lockdown you can create a free account!)

I have 2 sheets you can try this week!


https://www.twinkl.co.uk/resource/ca-sc-34-animal-facts-classification-activity


Print off the sheet above. Your task is to tick the correct statement for each animal group, it can get a little tricky!


https://www.twinkl.co.uk/resource/t2-s-099-animal-flow-chart-worksheet


This is slightly more in-depth as you have to classify animals from the same group (minibeasts) or create your own classification questions in the flow chart by filling in the blanks.

If you don’t have a printer then how about drawing your favourite animals and thinking about which group they belong to.


Have fun!


You can post pictures of the teddies that you have classified or anything else through my Facebook and Instagram or you can post them in the comments section below.

Ranger Stu's Virtual Zoo will always be free to use.

It’s difficult times for most of us in the animal industry with uncertainly about the future and our jobs. If you are a school using my blog as a resource for your students perhaps or would just like to donate. You can do so using paypal.me/rangerstu Your donations are massively appreciated

© Stuart Short