Primary Booklet 5 – Grouping and Classification


One of a series of booklets written to support plant science in the Primary Curriculum, now available to download. This topic encourages children to explore the nature of living things, and introduces the ideas of classification and making keys.

As the fifth theme in the series, this booklet includes activities that encourage children to explore the nature of living things. The activities help children understand how we can group objects (both living and not living) leading on to how we classify living things and why we give them names. It enables children to make simple keys based on similarities and differences between objects (including parts of plants) and to use keys to identify certain plants.

Considerable emphasis is given to observation of living material. Making a key or using a key can be quite difficult concepts, but the activities involving sorting, grouping and naming lead children stepwise to the basic principles. The challenge of being able to use this and then work through the stages of identifying the flower of one of several commonly found buttercups can be highly rewarding. Some activities show a way through topics that are not easy to teach while others provide a fresh approach to some familiar topics.

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