Practice with Taxonomy


Though Next Generation Science Standards does not emphasize the memorizing of major groups anymore, students can benefit from learning the basics of how animals are classified. Taxonomy is often introduced with evolution, where students learn how to analyze phylogenetic trees and create cladograms.

This worksheet is a simple reinforcement exercise that covers the six kingdoms and the classification system developed by Carolus Linnaeus. I teach my students to learn this system with the mnemonic “King Philip Came Over For Great Soup” though there are many other versions. Each letter corresponds with a level of classification: Kingdom, Phylym, Class, Order, Family Genus, Species. You can add “darling” to the front of the sentence if you also want to include DOMAIN.

What I’ve found is that students can memorize this sequence, but they struggle with the actual concepts. Many will not be able to explain why there are more individual species within a class than there are within an order. Hierarchies can be difficult. I often uses boxes of varies sizes to show how each level fits into the next one.

My slides for classification are shown below. They are Google slides and can be edited if you make a copy.