Free learning resources from arts, cultural and heritage organisations.

Teachers' Notes

Resource created by: Leeds Museums and Galleries | The Discovery Centre.


Curriculum Links (England)

This resource can be used to teach:

  • KS3 Science - Scientific knowledge and conceptual understanding
    - Pupils should develop their use of scientific vocabulary, including the use of scientific nomenclature.
  • KS3 Biology - Genetics and evolution
    - differences between species
    - the importance of maintaining biodiversity
  • KS4 Biology - Vocabulary, units, symbols and nomenclature
    - developing their use of scientific vocabulary and nomenclature
  • KS4 Biology - Ecosystems
    - the importance of biodiversity
    - methods of identifying species and measuring distribution, frequency and abundance of species within a habitat
  • KS4 Biology - Evolution, inheritance and variation
    - developments in biology affecting classification


Bite-size summary:

  • Taxonomy uses the similarities and differences between species to put them in order.
  • Taxonomy is important for studying biodiversity, ecology, conservation, pest management, disease control and other scientific work.
  • Taxonomy allows us to better understand a species’ evolutionary history.
  • Taxonomy is always being changed and updated.
  • Taxonomy is the study of how species relate to each other. Nomenclature is the way species are named.
  • Every species has a binomial name, made up of the genus and species. It always italicised with a capital letter for the genus and lower case for the species e.g. Tyto alba.


Discussion and Activity Ideas

Name your own new species:

  • search for an image of an animal online
  • put it into what you think is its correct Linnean classification (Wikipedia is really helpful with this)
  • think of words that you would use to describe how the animal looks – striped, large nose, hairy etc. or invent which place it came from using the list below (these are actual scientific names):
    - China = chinensis
    - Japan = japonica
    - New Zealand = novaezelandiae
    - America = americanus
    - California = californicus
    - Scotland = scotia
    - Yorkshire/London/Wales = invent your own…
  • Translate those into Latin and invent your own binomial. Make sure you write it correctly though.

  • Use the downloadable quiz sheet to work out which animal species is which by translating its name into English.