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Unit 4C, Classifying Living Things

Unit Project: Making a Field Guide to Local Plants or Animals

You will collect information about local plants or animals and then create an illustrated field guide.

Project Link (Chapter 1, page C13)
You will be making a field guide to local plants or animals. With other students, make a list of the plants or animals to include in your guide. You might want to list both the common name(s) and the scientific name(s). Decide what other information about the plants or animals should be presented in your field guide.

Internet Links
Animal List

National Museum of Natural History: Mammal Photographs

SeaWorld/Busch Gardens: Animal Bytes

National Audubon Society: WatchList

Field Guides
Audubon Bookstore Online:
The National Audubon Society Essential Nature Library

Project FeederWatch Canada: Audio and Field Guides

Nature Photography
A Guide to Ultimate Wildlife Watching

Student Resources

  • Field Guide Entry Form
  • Field Guide Research Suggestions
  • Writing A Business Letter

  • Formulario de guía
  • Guía de campo sugerencias para la investigacíon
  • Escribir una carta comercial
  • Project Link (Chapter 1, page C31)
    Draw or take photographs of plants or animals for your field guide. Think about ways to classify the plants or animals that you have chosen. Then decide how to organize the pictures and the information that you have collected.

    Internet Links
    Classifying Animals

    Public Broadcasting Online
    Galápagos Islands: Taxonomic Fun

    University of Michigan Museum of Zoology: Animal Diversity Web

    The Learning Kingdom: Gaggle

    Classifying Plants
    Access Excellence: Classification of Plants

    University of California, Berkeley
    Museum of Paleontology: Introduction to the Plantae

    Student Resources

  • Animal Classification
  • Plant Classification

  • Clasificación de los animales
  • Clasificación de las plantas
  • Project Link (Chapter 2, page C47)
    Think about the body parts of the plants and animals in your guide. How have these parts allowed the plants and animals to survive? How does the behavior of each animal help it to survive? Consider what each animal eats and where it lives. Explore ways to share this information in an interesting way in your field guide.

    Internet Links
    Animal Adaptations

    The Oakland Zoo: Oakland Zoo Animals

    National Geographic—Cats: Muscles

    Public Broadcasting Online—Galapagos Islands:
    Wildlife on the Islands

    The Exploratorium: The Amazing, Adaptable Frog

    Plant Adaptions
    Missouri Botanical Garden
    The Evergreen Project Adventures: Tropical Rain Forest Plants

    Missouri Botanical Garden
    The Evergreen Project Adventures: Tundra Plants

    Missouri Botanical Garden
    The Evergreen Project Adventures: Taiga Plants

    Missouri Botanical Garden
    The Evergreen Project Adventures: Plants of the Desert

    Missouri Botanical Garden
    The Evergreen Project Adventures: Grassland Plants

    Insect Photography
    Bugbios: Entomological Database of Very Cool Bugs

    Las arañas

    Project Link (Chapter 2, page C53)
    Decide on a format to present the information that you have gathered. Think about whether you want to compile a booklet, make bulletin-board displays, make audiotapes, or use another format.

    Internet Links
    Examples of Field Guides

    The Royal Ontario Museum
    Explore Ontario's Biodiversity: Field Guides

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