Lesson 03 – Classifying Organisms

Share to Brightspace Continue with Brightspace

Read About Classifying Organisms


Read the vocabulary terms to understand the reading better.

Organisms are living things that can grow, use nutrients, and produce young.

Characteristics are special features or qualities that help to identify a person, thing, or specific group.

The Kingdoms are the five main groups into which all living things are divided in the classification system.

Plantae is the Kingdom that includes all plants.

Animalia is the Kingdom that includes all animals.

Fungi is the Kingdom of non-green spore-producing organisms (e.g., mushrooms, toadstools, yeast, moulds).

Monera is the Kingdom that includes all types of bacteria.

Protista is the Kingdom that includes unicellular (one-celled) and colony-forming organisms that can’t be classed as plants or animals (e.g., protozoans, slime moulds, some types of algae).

Species is a class of living things grouped by their common characteristics and given a common name (e.g., domestic dogs).

Classifying Organisms

There are many types of life on Earth. All living things share certain characteristics, so they all belong to one group: organisms. Scientists believe there are over 10 million types of organisms on Earth. Classifying organisms helps scientists study them and understand them better.

Characteristics are used to classify an organism. Characteristics include what the parts of the organism do. What the organism looks like on the inside and outside is another characteristic.

The most common classification system divides organisms into five kingdoms: Plantae, Animalia, Fungi, Monera, and Protista. Within each kingdom, organisms are divided into smaller groups. Within those groups, they are divided into even smaller groups. As the groups are divided further, the organisms become more alike. There are more similarities in plants in the same family than in plants in the same phylum.

Scientists believe there are over 10 million types of organisms on Earth.

To learn more about classifying organisms, watch the video by MooMooMath and Science on Youtube.

Now Show What You Know!

Complete some questions about the reading selection by clicking “Begin Questions” below.