Intro to Living Things

6.12: Organisms and environments. The student knows all organisms are classified into Domains and Kingdoms. Organisms within these taxonomic groups share similar characteristics which allow them to interact with the living and nonliving parts of their ecosystem. The student is expected to:

6.12a: understand that all organisms are composed of one or more cells;

6.12b: recognize that the presence of a nucleus determines whether a cell is prokaryotic or eukaryotic;

6.12c: recognize that the broadest taxonomic classification of living organisms is divided into currently recognized Domains;

6.12d: identify the basic characteristics of organisms, including prokaryotic or eukaryotic, unicellular or multicellular, autotrophic or heterotrophic, and mode of reproduction, that further classify them in the currently recognized Kingdoms;

Guiding Questions:

1. What are the three domains of classification for living organisms?
2. What basic characteristics do I need to know about organisms in order to classify into a kingdom?
3. How do scientists classify things?
4. Why is it important to demonstrate safety practices in Science?
5. What wise choices can be made upon completion of lab with unused lab materials?
6. What safety equipment needs to be used in order to prevent accidents in the science lab?


matter - anything that has mass and takes up space
abiotic - not living
biotic - living or was living
organisms - a self contained living thing
cell - The smallest unit of a living organism; it is enclosed by a membrane and performs life functions.
nucleus - A membrane bound structure in a eukaryotic cell that contains DNA
organelle - A membrane bound structure in a cell that performs a specific function.
prokaryotic - cell with no visible nucleus
eukaryotic - cell with a defined nucleus and other cell structures
unicellular - one cell
multicellular - more than one cell
autotrophic - makes its own food via photosynthesis
heterotrophic - gets it nutrients from eating or consuming other organisms
kingdom - a large classification of living organisms (Archaebacteria, Eubacteria, Protists, Fungus, Plants, Animals)
communities - a group of individuals of different species that live in the same area
classification - to put into groups
domains - classifications even larger than kingdoms (Bacteria, Archae, Eukarya)
taxon - a given name or rank in a classification system

Important Links ...

6 Signs of Life

Teacher Feature - Classification
6 Kingdom Classification
Classifying Life


Classification and the Arctic Hare
Classification for Kids

Interactive Games...

Classification Virtual Lab

Classification Game
Another Classification Game
Classifying Life
eWord Game
Classifying Life Crossword
Vocabulary Word Search

Websurfing Science


Part I: What is a Cell?

Part II: Types of Cells

Part III: Eukaryotic vs. Prokaryotic

Taxonomic Classification:

Part I: Domains of Life

Part II: Autotrophs and Heterotrophs

Part III: Classification into Kingdoms

Classifying living things: Dichotomous Keys . . .


Plankton, The Most Vital Organism On Earth

More Extensions:

Taxonomy Explained