Fourth grade students learn about classifying animals into groups, and they begin by classifying the vertebrates (animals with backbones) and the invertebrates (animals with no backbones). As they study animals, fourth grade students discuss common characteristics and learn to compare animals within and across groups.
An animal’s skeleton, or lack thereof, is one such characteristic that may be used as a classifying characteristic for a group of animals. For example, some animals, such as worms, have no bones at all. Others, such as mammals and fish, have bones on the inside of their body. And some animals wear their skeleton on the outside of their body! This is called an exoskeleton and it's one characteristic that all insects have in common.
Reviewing animal characteristics with your child can go a long way in helping her to remember important science concepts and reinforce at home what she's already learning in school. Here’s a fun and tasty way to help her review classifying characteristics of animals.