Kids Investigate the Animal Kingdom
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.
Fossil-Facts-and-Finds entry on 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.
This is Palaeos' references on the Cambrian Period under the Paleozoic Era; great for more advanced students.
A lengthy article on the Cambrian Period from National Geographic, with various resources available (wallpaper, time-line, various links).
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.
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!
From the Franklin Institute Resources for Science Learning, here is a nice reference, and lots of links to help you on your way.
This is provided by the discovery channel, and you may be able to tailor it to suit your homeschoolers.
Kids Corner has a great resource on animal classification, the various groupings, and some interactive games. Suitable for younger learners and elementary-aged kids.
This is animals of the world trivia games; take a look.
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.
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.
This is a nice PDF you can download; it provides a 'lecture' and sorting activity.
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.
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.
This is a link to my website, The Scientific Homeschooler, where I have several worksheets for Invertebrate and Vertebrate studies.
Lots of great resources here; power point presentations, interactive activities, and lesson plans for grades K-12.
A good reference resource.