Grouping and Classifying

Year 4

Unit Overview

In the Grouping and Classifying project, your child will learn why we sort and group things and the important classification skills of observing and questioning. They will learn what classification keys are and how they identify living things. Your child will learn the characteristics of the five vertebrate groups and the six main invertebrate groups.. They will also examine and classify real plants and create a classification key based on their observations. They will learn about some newly discovered plants and animals and use a classification key to classify each discovery. 


Becoming scientists and using taxonomy to classify new living things.


Writing a newspaper article about an unclassified creature which has been washed up on a beach.


Searching for invertebrates.

Unit Sequence: Learning Intentions

1.    What is classification? An introduction to the project by discussing how and why we sort and group things. The children will begin to make careful observations and identify differences, similarities or changes related to simple scientific ideas and processes.


2.      Understanding classification keys: The children will recognise how classification keys are used to identify a living thing and begin to use the key to identify a variety of animals.


3.      Creating classification keys: The children will use their knowledge from the previous lesson to create their own classification key based on a classroom object.


4.      Animal Kingdom: The children will recognise that living things can be grouped in different ways; sort animals into vertebrates and invertebrates; use scientific vocabulary to report and answer questions about their findings based on evidence collected.


5.      Classifying a new discovery: The children will use the knowledge and skills acquired throughout the unit to write a scientific report about an animal. They will compare, sort and group living things from a range of environments, in a variety of ways, based on observable features and behaviour; use scientific vocabulary to report and answer questions about their findings based on evidence collected, draw simple conclusions and identify next steps; ask relevant scientific questions about the world around them and begin to identify how they can answer them; gather, record, classify and present observations and measurements in a variety of ways.

Scientific Enquiry: Investigations

How does pollution affect habitats?


Children to complete a classification report based on a new discovery.


A variety of online texts and non-fiction books.