Classifying Vertebrates

Contributor: Victoria Surface. Lesson ID: 10611

Do animals fascinate you with their many shapes, sizes, colors, & habitats? Through online games & resources, & creative projects; you'll learn how to classify vertebrates using their characteristics.


Life Science

learning style
Auditory, Visual
personality style
Grade Level
Intermediate (3-5)
Lesson Type
Dig Deeper

Lesson Plan - Get It!


Why does the orca above need to come up for air?

The animal kingdom is divided into two groups: vertebrates and invertebrates.

Vertebrate animals have an internal skeleton made up of bones.

Scientists classify or group vertebrates into five categories according to their common features or characteristics:

  1. Mammals
  2. Birds
  3. Fish
  4. Amphibians
  5. Reptiles

In this lesson, you will learn the characteristics of vertebrates and how to classify them. To help you learn, you will use various online resources and games as well as creative projects. Let’s get started!

  1. Watch Vertebrate Animals | Educational Video for Kids from Happy Learning (below) to learn the characteristics of vertebrates and how they are classified. Take notes using the Classifying Vertebrates – Notes found in the Downloadable Resources in the right-hand sidebar.

  1. View the Scholastic Study Jams! Vertebrates Slide Show ( Pause the slideshow to continue taking notes. You can even test yourself with the brief quiz after viewing the slideshow.
  1. Read about each of the vertebrate classifications at Sheppard Software Animal Classification (
  1. Discuss what you have learned about vertebrates with your teacher.

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