Beetle Boy- Classification
The story of Beetle Boy by M G Leonard is about a boy called Darkus who is miserable. His dad has disappeared, and his neighbours are disgusting. He joins forces with Baxter, a giant beetle and the two of them try to find out why his father has disappeared. This book provides a nice way to link to work on classification of invertebrates, through which children can explore:
- describe how living things are classified into broad groups according to common observable characteristics and based on similarities and differences, including micro-organisms, plants and animals
• give reasons for classifying plants and animals based on specific characteristics
Key scientific vocabulary: sort, classify, invertebrate, exoskeleton, insect, classsificaton key, identify
Links and Resources
Invertebrates are an extremely large and diverse group of animals. They may be classified into areas which include arthropods, (which have jointed limbs), molluscs and worms. Arthropods include insects, spiders and crustaceans.
Classifying them may be problematic as differences between some of these animals may be quite subtle and a lot of them will not have been seen by children. This resource usefully colour codes the identification sheets depending on the number of legs of the invertebrate. They also contain top tips for identifying them and colourful pictures to aid identification.
It is worth noting that children are often unsure where to place insect larvae as they may look very different to the adult insect e.g caterpillars. To help with the confusion this guide usefully includes larvae so children can identify these as well.
This resource supports learning about how living things can be classified into groups scientifically. Activities are based around tasks carried out in the ‘real world’ by scientists working for organisations such as Fera.:
- Play a classification game and learn about how we classify animals.
- Find out about the importance of close observation and classification in the work of a scientist who identifies pests in food products.
- Identify invertebrates in a local habitat
- Create a set of Top Trumps cards for mini-beast found in the local area.
This resource provides a selection of lesson plans, worksheets and teachers notes relating to living things and their habitats at Year Six. They include activities which look at the history of classification of living things, studying the binomial system introduced by Linnaeus and the 7 levels of classification used today.
Ideas are also provided for activities in which children collect plants in local environment and identify them using classification keys. They then create their own classification keys to identify birds, insects and tree leaves.
The classification card provides a useful overview of the classification system of the animal group invertebrates or minibeasts. It is a good reference point for teachers which could also be used with children. Children often call many invertebrates insects or bugs when they may actually not belong to the insect group. One example is a spider, which although aan arthropod is actually an arachnid.
These classification card contains a 'Bug Dial' template which may be when searching for minibeasts in different habitats around school or when on a field trip. In listing the characteristics common to each phylum or class it aids the process of classification.
The Classification pack contains a wealth of activities and games which develop children's understanding of how living things are classified based on specific characteristics. The 'Sort and Share' activity on page 15 leads well into a discussion about how scientists categorise and identify plants and animals. They may then go on to 'Classify their classmates' and 'Crazy creatures in the activities which follow.
The Famous Scientists Facts Sheets provide mini-biographies and posters of the scientists: Carl Linnaeus, Charles Darwin, Alfred Russel Wallace and Joseph D Hooker.
The Bee Scene survey was developed as part of the Wild About Plants project by Plantlife and the Bumblebee Conservation Trust. Children and young people are encouraged to take part in an annual survey of wildflowers, the bumblebee's source of food (nectar and pollen). This information is used to estimate bee numbers in the area surveyed.
The survey runs from April to August each year and can take place in any open space, including school grounds, local parks, woodlands, nature reserves or the wider countryside.
The education pack includes resources, worksheets and information to support learning outside the classroom activities. The resources provided here also include certificates for individuals and groups.