Living Things


Lesson 1: How can you classify animals?

  • Animals are classified into groups. They can be classified by how they look, where they live or how they act. One main characteristic scientists use to classify animals is whether or not they have a backbone.
  • Vertebrate: an animal with backbone. These animals may look different but they all have backbones and other bones. Vertebrates are divided into groups: fish, amphibians, reptiles, birds and mammals.
  • Invertebrate: an animal without a backbone. These animals have structures other than bones to give them their shape. Most invertebrates are smaller than most vertebrates and they are divided into groups like jellyfish, worms, mollusk and arthropods.
  • Another trait that helps scientists classify animals is the way they give birth. Some of them lay eggs and others have live birth.

Lesson 2: How offspring are like their parents?

  • Many characteristics of plants and animals are inherited which means the characteristics that are passed on from the parents to the offspring. They are called a trait. However, other characteristics are said to be acquired.
  • Behaviors are things that animals do. Some of these behaviors are inherited, instincts, and others are learned.

Lesson 3: What are the life cycles of some animals?

  • An animal’s life starts out as an egg. Sometimes the egg develops into a young animal inside the mother’s body. Then the mother gives birth to live young. For other animals, the mother lays an egg outside of her body.
  • After birth, an animal begins to grow. It develops into an adult and then it can reproduce. Eventually, it dies. Its life cycle is complete.



Student, in pairs, will conduct a research on one animal. Each student will use the information to create an informational brochure about his/her particular animal.

These brochures will be printed by the school after being corrected to be distributed to the students of other classes and the parents during the science fair. The purpose of distributing these brochures is to spread awareness about the importance of animal kingdom and make people more sympathetic with animals; especially tiny ones like insects, butterflies and ants.

Students will be provided with a list of both familiar and unfamiliar animals, these will include vertebrates and invertebrates. Students, in pairs, will choose an animal to conduct a research about. They will become experts on the animals they are researching. In turn, their project will be used to "teach" the others in the class and in the school at the science fair.


Students will create a 6-sided informational brochure about the animal. It needs to include:   

  1. Two or more graphics (picture) showing the animal.

  2. General information about the animal’s physical and internal characteristics (weight, color, body covering, invertebrate or vertebrate, cold or warm blooded)

  3. Information about its life cycle (stages of life, number of babies it has, name given to its young, tell whether it gives birth to live babies or eggs)

  4. One or more pictures of where the animal lives. (its habitat)

  5. Information about its habitat (Describe what it needs in its environment to survive.)

  6. Information about how the animal protects itself.

  7. Other interesting information (Is it endangered?  Tell other unique facts that make it different from other animals.)

  8. Document and Cite the source of the facts and graphics used in the brochure. 







Content accuracy/Presence

All facts in the brochure are accurate and present.

99-90% of the facts in the brochure are accurate and present.

89-80 % of the facts in the brochure are accurate and present.

Fewer than 80 % of the facts in the brochure are accurate and present.

Vocabulary/Scientific terms


The student correctly use several scientific terms and define unfamiliar words.

The student correctly use few scientific terms and define unfamiliar words.

The student tries to use scientific terms, but 1-2 word incorrectly.

The student does not incorporate scientific terms.

Spelling & proofreading


No spelling errors remain after the teacher reads and corrects the brochure.

No more than one spelling error remains after the teacher reads and corrects the brochure.

No more than three spelling error remain after the teacher reads and corrects the brochure.

Several spelling error remains after the teacher reads and corrects the brochure.


The brochure has excellent formatting and very well-organized information.

The brochure has appropriate formatting and well-organized information.

The brochure has some organized information with random formatting.

The brochure’s format and organization of material are confusing to the reader.


The graphics go well with the text, and there is a good mix of text and pictures.

The graphics go well with the text, but there are so many that they distract from the text.

The graphics go well with the text, but there are too few and the brochure seems “text-heavy”.

The graphics do not go with the accompanying text or appear randomly chosen.


At the end of this unit you will be able to:

  • Tell what the characteristics that can help us classify animals are.

  • Know how to classify animals into major groups based on characteristics and behaviors.

  • Know how to describe the various characteristics of living things using picture books, videos and stories.

  • Know that some characteristics and behaviors are inherited and some are learned or acquired.

  • Know how different animals grow and change during their life cycles.

  • Know the stages of life of living things.

  • Pose questions about the growth and development of familiar animals; and about similarities and differences between animal and human growth.

  • Use a variety of resources to find info about the life cycles of living things.

  • Create a brochure of the growth and development of an animal they chose during its life cycles and the group where it is sorted based on its characteristics and behaviors.

  • Sequence pictures/illustrations of the animals.

  • Use written language and pictures to record research about animals.

  • Communicate with other students and parents.

  • Humans and animals grow and change during their lives. They can make more humans and animals like themselves (reproduce). They also eventually die.


  1. Straight, C., & Runion, N. (n.d.). Animal Life, Habitats and Camouflage. Retrieved from:

  2. Wiggins, Grant and J. McTighe. (1998). Understanding by Design Unit Template: Animal Growth Change. Retrieved from:

  3. [3asafeer]. (2018, February 1). If You were Born a Kitten'. --> --> -->. Retrieved from:

  4. [It’s AumSum Time]. (2015, November 17). Life Cycle of a Butterfly. --> --> -->. Retrieved from:

  5. [It’s AumSum Time]. (2015, September 25). Life Cycle of a Frog. --> --> -->. Retrieved from:

  6. [Makemegenius]. (2015, November 26). Vertebrates and Invertebrates animals - Video for kids. --> --> -->. Retrieved from:

Teacher Page
  • Lara Gh.

  • Teacher student at MUBS, Modern University of Business and Science.

  • Studying Teaching Diploma in Math and Science for Elementary Classes.

  • Special tutor.