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Science Lesson Plans: The Category of Order

By Kathy Foust

Use this lesson plan to help your students to understand the system of scientific classification, specifically the category of Order.

Scientific Order Group

Review the following information to your students and complete the included activity to enhance students' understanding of scientific classification in the category of Order.

The category of Order is one of several in the system of scientific classification. The category of Order is higher than the category of Family and lower than the category of Class. This means that while every living thing that falls into the same category of Class does not necessarily fall into the same category of Order, all living things that fall into the same category of Family do fall into the same category of Order.

Order Activity

Review or write on the board the information listed below. Ask students to decide if the living things listed below fall into the same category of Order in scientific classification. Students have the choice of "same order", "different order" or "more information needed".

  • Home sapiens (human beings)
  • Labradors, collies and German Shepards
  • turtles and horses
  • snails and cats
  • Gorilla beringei
  • fish and man
  • fern and duck

This science activity can be used to show students that those classified in lower categories will be in the same higher categories. For example, in the activity above, it is not important for the student to use the scientific name for a living thing, but the proper group the living thing is classified in. The existence of a scientific name tells you that the living thing in question belongs to the same genus and species, therefore it belongs to all of the other classification groups. For example those with obvious differences such as vertebrates and invertebrates will belong to different Orders. Likewise, a plant and an animal will always be in different Kingdoms and will therefore never be in the same Order or any other classification after.

Using this lesson as well as the other science lesson plans in this series will help students to understand the way the scientific classification system works. Upon finishing these lesson plans students will know the various levels of classification as well as the fact that the lower the classification system is, the more specific the criteria will need to be to place the animal or plant in question.