Year 3, Term 2: Classification

Focus: Logic

Scope and sequence: Dichotomous keys

Learning intention: Students compare features of living and non-living things to explore classification systems and devise new ones.

NSW Syllabus
Australian Curriculum (version 9.0)
"A student compares features and characteristics of living and non-living things." (ST2-4LW-S)
"Students learn to compare characteristics of living and non-living things and examine the differences between the life cycles of plants and animals." (AC9S3U01)

Week 1

Introduction to classification

Taxonomy is the branch of science concerned with classification.  This video (4:11) shows how classification works using a red fox as an example.

Classification systems continue to evolve so there is some debate about the number of categories.  The following screenshot from the previous video is a reminder that there are generally considered to be eight categories involved in biological classification as follows:

An interactive resource is available from the UNE Discovery program ( where students can make adaptations to creatures and then use the Latin binomials to name the new creatures. 


Week 2

Introduction to dichotomous keys


Week 3





Week 4

Classification activity

How many groups could the following five shapes be grouped into?

Try sorting them into groups of 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5.


Discuss the word 'criteria' and then link it to classification in terms of 'attributes'.

Week 5

Week 6


Week 7


Week 8


Week 9


Week 10

Moderated self-assessment


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