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Classifying Critters

About the Classifying Critters Lesson

An introduction to Linnaean classification including Genus species, naming and hierarchical categories of classification.

• Students will recognize Linnaeus? accomplishments as the Father of Taxonomy.

• Students will recognize the parts of a binomial scientific name.

• Students will identify a correctly written scientific name.

• Students will be introduced to the hierarchy of classification.

Suggested Grades
4th Grade
5th Grade
6th Grade

In the 1700s, a man by the name of Carl Linnaeus began putting living things into groups based on similarities and devised a system of naming and classifying organisms that is still in use today (with many changes). He is often called the Father of Taxonomy because of his contributions to this area of biology. Linnaeus developed the use of binomial nomenclature for naming organisms. Linnaeus assigned binomial names to over 11,000 species of plants and animals.

In this system, each organism has two names: a genus and a species. In order for an organism to be specifically identified, it must have both a genus and species name. This is a universal system, so no matter what area of the world you are in the scientific name of an organism is the same.




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