Kingdoms of Life hunt

Students hunt for living things from all the kingdoms of life, and make a collection with a sample from each kingdom.
Science content
Biology: Classification of Living Things, Biodiversity (1, 3)
Biology: Food Webs, Ecosystems, Biomes (3, 4)
Lessons activity is in
  • small paint trays, ice cube trays, or other collecting dishes with compartments
  • optional: droppers (to move small amounts of water and pick up small aquatic living things
  • optional: fine net to catch small aquatic living things
  • optional: tree of life (evolutionary tree) poster e.g. this one

Students are taken to an outside location with a variety of ecosystems e.g. small pond, rotting wood area (see image of rotting wood with animals and fungi on it).
Lay out nets, droppers, and collecting buckets in a central area.
Review the kingdoms of life and the living things that are in each - use an evolutionary tree poster if you have one.
Give each student a tray with compartments. Ask them to find examples of each kingdom and put them in each well of the tray.

Examples that they might find:
Animals - pond organisms, insects, worms, wood bugs, snails.
Plants - any leaf, moss, pond plants such as duck weed.
Fungi - white filaments on rotting log, mushrooms. Fungi have a distinctive smell.
Protists - pond algae, pond single celled organisms recovered with algae e.g. Paramecium.
Eubacteria - in dirt, our bodies
Archaea - in the soil, as well as other more extreme environments that are hot, salty or acidic
(note Monera is an old kingdom, that has now been split into Eubacteria and Archaea).

The tray in the image contains:
Daphnia from the pond (animal)
Clover leaf (plant)
Rotting wood (contains fungi)
Pond algae (protist)
Soil (monera)


Bayview (while up at QE portables) did this activity in the forest and Camouson Bog (acidic environment).

Grades taught
Gr 5
Gr 6
Teaching site
Bayview Elementary
Gordon Elementary