Science and Technology
Grade 6: Life Systems: Diversity of Living Things
Overall Expectations
•demonstrate an understanding of ways in which classification systems are used to understand the diversity of living things and the interrelationships among living things;
•investigate classification systems and some of the processes of life common to all animals (e.g., growth, reproduction, movement, response, and adaptation);
•describe ways in which classification systems can be used in everyday life.         
Specific Expectations
Understanding Basic Concepts        
•explain why formal classification systems are usually based on structural characteristics (e.g., type of skeleton, circulatory system, reproductive system) rather than on physical appearance or behavioural characteristics;        
•recognize that the essential difference between cold- and warm-blooded animals lies in different means of regulating body temperature;        
•identify and describe the characteristics of vertebrates, and use these characteristics to classify vertebrates as mammals, birds, amphibians, reptiles, and fish (the five main classes);        
•identify and describe the characteristics of invertebrates, and classify invertebrates into phyla (e.g., sponges, worms, molluscs, arthropods);        
•compare the characteristics of vertebrates and invertebrates;        
•compare the characteristics of different kinds of arthropods (e.g., crustaceans such as crayfish, shrimp; insects such as grasshoppers, butterflies, mealworms);        
•describe microscopic living things using appropriate tools to assist them with their observations (e.g., nets and microscopes for pond study);        
•describe ways in which micro-organisms meet their basic needs (e.g., for food, water, air, movement).         
Developing Skills of Inquiry, Design, and Communication        
•formulate questions about and identify the needs of different types of animals, and explore possible answers to these questions and ways of meeting these needs (e.g., design an experiment to study whether certain insects will grow larger if given large quantities of food);        
•plan investigations for some of these answers and solutions, identifying variables that need to be held constant to ensure a fair test and identifying criteria for assessing solutions;        
•use appropriate vocabulary, including correct science and technology terminology, in describing their investigations and observations (e.g., use terms such as organism, species, structure, and kingdom in describing classification of animals);        
•compile data gathered through investigation in order to record and present results, using charts, tables, labelled graphs, and scatter plots produced by hand or with a computer (e.g., make an inventory of animals found in a specific location);        
•communicate the procedures and results of investigations for specific purposes and to specific audiences, using media works, oral presentations, written notes and descriptions, charts, graphs, and drawings (e.g., create a clearly labelled chart of organisms observed and identified during a pond study).        
Relating Science and Technology to the World Outside the School        
•identify various kinds of classification systems that are based on specific criteria and used to organize information (e.g., in a telephone system, numbers are classified according to country code, area code, telephone number, extension number);        
•identify inherited characteristics (e.g., eye colour, hair colour) and learned or behavioural characteristics (e.g., habits of cleanliness);        
•explain why characteristics related to physical appearance (e.g., size, shape, colour, texture) or behaviour are not suitable attributes for classifying living things;        
•identify various kinds of plant or animal organisms in a given plot using commercially produced biological or classification keys (e.g., organisms observed in a pond study, in the school yard, in wildlife centres);        
•describe specific characteristics or adaptations that enable each group of vertebrates to live in its particular habitat (e.g., fish in water), and explain the importance of maintaining that habitat for the survival of the species;        
•explain how fossils provide evidence of changes in animals over geological time;        
•compare similarities and differences between fossils and animals of the present.        
Student Name:        
 Expectations: Copyright The Queen's Printer for Ontario, 1998.  Format: Copyright B.Phillips, 1998.