Animal Classification

By: Sheila Kent



Students will learn to classify animals through research and reference presentations. Students will work in collaborative groups, present findings and self-correct.

Keywords: Animal Classification


Students will investigate through free and systematic exploration. Students will classify animals into major groups according to physical characteristics.


SC.3.L.15.1 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.


Academic Preparation

Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Fusion Science Book, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Fusion on line through Think Central, Classroom projector , Lap tops, Kid Info Bits Rubric, RubiStar.Com


Engage (Allow approximately 30-45 minutes for this activity): Present the students with five pictures: 1 mammal, 1 reptile, 1 bird, 1 fish, 1 amphibian. Place pictures in different centers. Group students, tell them they will rotate centers and will need their science journals. At each center, the student will write the category of animal, draw a picture, and write describing words based on their observation. After the groups have rotated to all five centers, allow students to come back together as a group and share their findings using the document camera.
Explore (Allow approximately three or four 30-45 minute classes for this activity): Students will use laptops and Kid Info Bits to identify and classify animals into major groups (mammals, reptiles, birds, amphibians and fish). Sort students into five groups; assign each group a classification (mammal, reptile etc.). Have students research their type of animal. Each group should then use the information they gather to construct a presentation for their animal classification.
Explain (Allow approximately one 30 -45 minute classes for this activity): Students should share their presentations. After, allow each group to verbally share with the class what they have discovered. Guide students with higher order questions while they share their findings. (Example: Describe what you have identified as a characteristic of mammals).

Extend (Allow approximately four 30 -45 classes for this activity) Present vocabulary words on the projector, allow students journal time to write the vocabulary words with their own comprehension of the word(s). Allow students time to share and show (compare/contrast) their vocabulary journal with a peer. Allow students time to add to or change their vocabulary journal after they have shared. Have the students write a reflection in their journal on the lesson.
View journals (vocabulary, characteristics,)to evaluate. You can also view group presentations.


Students complete science journal passages and group presentations. (See rubric attachment)

Extensions and Adaptations

Estimated Lesson Duration

3hr 55min




File Attachments