Year 7 Science – What is Life?

This amazing creature has been drawn based on fossils and named Hatzegopteryx – it is thought to be one of the largest flying animals of all time! It had hollow bones,  which meant that it weighed only about one sixth of the weight of a giraffe.

Learning Intention: To understand that living organisms share some common characteristics, despite their diversity. The differences within and between groups helps us organize and classify organisms.

Success Criteria: You will be able to list five characteristics of living organisms, name the five Kingdoms that all living organisms are grouped into and the five classes of vertebrates. You will also be able to discuss why we organize living things into groups and how this system has changed over time.

There is an amazing diversity of life on the planet – and we have evidence of even stranger organisms that are now extinct. What do all living things have in common? Draw up a Venn diagram with three overlapping circles. Add a dog to one, a robot to another and fire to the third. What do these three things have in common? What is different?

We will discuss your answers and decide on the five characteristics of all living organisms. We will also create a dichotomous key using a variety of different sweets and lollies. A dichotomous key is a hierarchical, branching tool that is used to identify organisms.