Lesson plan


Look at a variety of life and discuss how it is grouped, using an evolutionary tree image.
Science content
Biology: Classification of Living Things, Biodiversity (1, 3)
Activities in this lesson
  • Materials in the activities
  • Tree of life (evolutionary tree) poster e.g. this one

Life is diverse and can be grouped.
Show poster of Tree of Life. It shows many many living things, the lines connecting how similar they are to each other. Like a family. We are all related to each other, even bacteria.
We are part of the group of animals with bones.
Today we’ll focus on the other parts of the tree, maybe parts that you are less familiar with.

Pond dipping activity.
What different animals you can find in the pond water?
Find each animal on the Tree of Life
e.g. Daphnia and shrimp are Crustaceans, mosquito larva an Insect (Exoskeleton, legs), leech an Annelid (no legs, segments)

Now we’ll look at another part of the Tree of Life: plants.
Play a game that helps you identify different plants at your school.
e.g. Moss, Gymnosperm (Sequoia), Angiosperms: Yucca (monocot) and flowering plants (dicots).

After students are familiar with all the plants in the game, tell them:
Mosses are the oldest land plant on earth.
Mosses and conifers were around with the dinosaurs.

BONUS challenge:
Look at the leaves of these plants (point out). Find the veins in the leaves (which plants get their water through. Some of those veins are branching, some parallel (alongside each other). Find one of each.

Parallel veins are monocots. This group includes grasses and orchids.
Branching veins are dicots. This group includes all flowering plants.

Plants are many and varied, as is all life on Earth. We classify it to help understand it.


The Biodiversity lesson has some of the same activities, but with a different discussion focus.

Grades taught
Gr 1