Carolus Linnaeus (a Swedish Scientist) recognized early that we needed to clearly be able to communicate to each the exact organism we were discussing. Not all dogs are the same, just like elephants. Linnaeus created a set of rules for naming system for organisms from bacteria to the blue whale. Linnaeus chose to use Latin words to define names in the scientific system. He found that each organism could be clearly defined in a naming system consisting of seven levels. The naming system starts as general as naming a Kingdom of each organism which defines if the organism is an animal, plant, protest, fungi, bacteria, or prokaryote. When students first start to work the various levels of animal and plant classification, they often do not see the point in it. Classification is very important because it ensures that scientists are studying the correct organism. There are thought to be just under nine million different species on Earth, it is proper scientific procedure to make certain you catalog which species you are studying.
This series of worksheets start out by explaining the difference between taxonomy and classification. As students begin to learn the complexities that are examined by a taxonomic structure, we start to have them explore this in detail. Students will begin naming all types of different creatures. We will finish off by spending some time with the single celled protist which are representatives of simple alga. We have several sheets that help students begin to understand how organisms are grouped and sorted.