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Kids Investigate the Animal Kingdom

Updated on July 20, 2011

Animal Kingdom Unit Study

The Kids Investigate lenses are meant to be a companion to the Chronological History of the World Unit Studies (also known as the Earth-Studies Units), though they can certainly be used independently.

When we reached our study of the Paleozoic Era and the Cambrian Period, including an introduction to the animal kingdom seemed to make sense. With the Cambrian explosion of life, Earth saw the diversification of vertebrates and invertebrates, and practically all of the animals classified under the animal phyla were evolved.

This lens focuses on some general science resources, activities, and ideas for studying the animal kingdom; I hope you will find something useful!

The Cambrian Period

The biggest thing your kids should take away from your study of the Cambrian Period is the vast explosion of diversification that occurred. In just a few million years animal groups, from worms to fishes, appeared. There was rapid plate movement, as Gondwana assembled, and shallow seas were prevalent. This was an ideal environment for a rapid evolutionary event that saw the birth of plankton, the base of the oceanic food chain, and the first wave of new creatures led to the first Vertebrates.

Cambrian Period

Fossil-Facts-and-Finds entry on the Cambrian Period.

The Cambrian Period

This is a link to University of California's Museum of Paleontology and their entry on the Cambrian Period and their various resources.

Paleozoic: Cambrian

This is Palaeos' references on the Cambrian Period under the Paleozoic Era; great for more advanced students.

Cambrian Period

A lengthy article on the Cambrian Period from National Geographic, with various resources available (wallpaper, time-line, various links).

Classifying Animals

In 1753 a Swedish scientist named Carolus Linnaeus thought of an orderly system for classifying plants and animals. He grouped organisms according to a two-part name (called binomial nomenclature) consisting of two Latin words for their genus and species.

Classifying Animals

This is an interactive video series regarding animal classification, provided by BrainPOP Jr. It provides a tutorial, as well as activities, and more. See for yourself!

Living Things: Families

From the Franklin Institute Resources for Science Learning, here is a nice reference, and lots of links to help you on your way.

Lesson Plan on Animal Classifications

This is provided by the discovery channel, and you may be able to tailor it to suit your homeschoolers.

Animal Classification

Kids Corner has a great resource on animal classification, the various groupings, and some interactive games. Suitable for younger learners and elementary-aged kids.

Animal Games

This is animals of the world trivia games; take a look.

Animal Diversity Web

This is a great resource, especially for some of the older students, or more advanced pupils who are interested in a more involved look at the animal kingdom.

Scientific Classification of Living Creatures

This gives a verse to aid you in remembering the order of the phylum, and what each sub-category stands for.


This is a whole long list of resources you can utilize for animal classification.

Animal Classification Activity

This is a nice PDF you can download; it provides a 'lecture' and sorting activity.

BBC-Schools Science Clips-Variation

Here is another classification game from the BBC.

Vertebrates & Invertebrates

During the Cambrian Period all of the major animal phyla came into existence, beginning with the first invertebrates, and evolving into the first vertebrates. Invertebrates, of coarse, being animals without a spine, and vertebrates being creatures with a spine--or back-bone.

Invertebrates: Animals Without Backbones

This is a nice resource from KidPort Reference Library, plenty of information, and an interactive on-line quiz to test your student's knowledge of invertebrates.


From Animal Planet, another reference regarding invertebrates.

The Earth-Studies Units

This is a link to my website, The Scientific Homeschooler, where I have several worksheets for Invertebrate and Vertebrate studies.

Free Vertebrates Power Point Presentations

Lots of great resources here; power point presentations, interactive activities, and lesson plans for grades K-12. Vertebrates

A good reference resource.

Sponges were some of the 1st Life Forms to Evolve During the Paleozoic Era

About Invertebrates

Animal Classification Chart

Animal Classification Chart
Animal Classification Chart

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