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Sorting Organisms

In this worksheet, students will learn about living organisms and how they are sorted into groups.

'Sorting Organisms' worksheet

Key stage:  KS 3

Curriculum topic:  Biology: Interactions and Interdependencies

Curriculum subtopic:  Relationships in an Ecosystem

Difficulty level:  

down

Worksheet Overview

QUESTION 1 of 10

Many things are sorted into groups to make our lives easier. Similar foods are grouped together in a supermarket and books are put in shelves according to types and categories. This is called classification and scientists sort organisms into groups depending on what they look like and how they function. The influence of the environment is not taken into account when classifying organisms, but only the genetic differences of organisms.

The first attempt to classify organisms was made by an ancient Greek thinker, Aristotle, who lived in the 4th century BC. He divided animals into two groups, those with red blood and those without. Theophrastus, Aristotle's student, classified animals according to what they were used for. As more and more species were discovered, those groups became too big. An English scientist, John Ray (1627-1705), divided plants and animals into smaller groups; for example, he divided animals with four legs into those with hooves (e.g. horses) and those without (e.g. tigers).

Eventually, in 1735 Carl Linnaeus examined thousands of plants and animals and gave them all a two-word Latin name. For example, humans are called Homo Sapiens. This prevents confusion with common names of organisms; a badger in the UK is a totally different species to the badger found in America. After putting all known organisms to smaller groups, Linnaeus ended up with two large groups he called kingdoms.

Today, scientists classify organisms using five kingdoms: plants, animals, fungi, bacteria and protoctists. Each kingdom is divided into smaller groups.

What criteria are used by scientists to classify organisms?

Tick two options.

appearance

environmental variation

functions

ancestors

Who made the first attempt to classify organisms?

What criteria did Aristotle use to classify animals?

red blood or not

their use

the number of legs

Who was the scientist who put organisms into smaller groups (four legs, hooves or toes)?

Carl Linnaeus

Theophrastus

John Ray

Whose classification system do we use today?

Include name and surname.

What names did Linnaeus give to all organisms?

a one-word ancient Greek name

a two-word Latin name

a common name

How did Linnaeus call humans?

You need to write two words. Remember to write the first two letters in capitals.

What type of letters are used for the Latin names of organisms?

bold

underlined

italics

Why is the Latin name system good?

It is easy to remember.

It prevents confusion between common names.

It makes sense.

Tick three kingdoms used today to classify organisms.

fungi

red-blooded

plants

insects

viruses

bacteria

  • Question 1

What criteria are used by scientists to classify organisms?

Tick two options.

CORRECT ANSWER
appearance
functions
EDDIE SAYS
Scientists classify organisms according to appearance and functions.
  • Question 2

Who made the first attempt to classify organisms?

CORRECT ANSWER
Aristotle
EDDIE SAYS
Aristotle made the first attempt to classify organisms in the 4th century BC.
  • Question 3

What criteria did Aristotle use to classify animals?

CORRECT ANSWER
red blood or not
EDDIE SAYS
Aristotle used as a criterium for classifying animals whether they had red blood or not.
  • Question 4

Who was the scientist who put organisms into smaller groups (four legs, hooves or toes)?

CORRECT ANSWER
John Ray
EDDIE SAYS
John Ray was the English scientist who put organisms into smaller groups.
  • Question 5

Whose classification system do we use today?

Include name and surname.

CORRECT ANSWER
Carl Linnaeus
EDDIE SAYS
The current classification system is based on the one Carl Linnaeus designed.
  • Question 6

What names did Linnaeus give to all organisms?

CORRECT ANSWER
a two-word Latin name
EDDIE SAYS
Linnaeus gave all organisms a two-word Latin name.
  • Question 7

How did Linnaeus call humans?

You need to write two words. Remember to write the first two letters in capitals.

CORRECT ANSWER
Homo Sapiens
EDDIE SAYS
Linnaeus called humans Homo Sapiens.
  • Question 8

What type of letters are used for the Latin names of organisms?

CORRECT ANSWER
italics
EDDIE SAYS
Italics are used for the two-word Latin names of organisms.
  • Question 9

Why is the Latin name system good?

CORRECT ANSWER
It prevents confusion between common names.
EDDIE SAYS
Linnaeus's Latin names prevent confusion between common names.
  • Question 10

Tick three kingdoms used today to classify organisms.

CORRECT ANSWER
fungi
plants
bacteria
EDDIE SAYS
Fungi, plants and bacteria are three of the kingdoms. Can you remember the other two?
---- OR ----

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