Publication of Archival Library and Museum Materials
Publication of Archival Library and Museum Materials
Publication of Archival Library and Museum Materials
Linking Florida's Natural Heritage

Curriculum Materials

Taxonomy: What's in a Name?

Lesson Plan

Print The Worksheet


Environmental science, life science, language arts/writing

Lesson Summary:

Students will learn about the history of taxonomy and classification, how scientific names are helpful to scientists, and what designates a species.


The students will be able to:

  1. Explain why Linnaeus is an important person in the area of taxonomy
  2. Explain why we use Latin for scientific names
  3. Explain why the Florida panther is considered endangered when the mountain lion is not, even though they are the same species.


Each student will need the following:
  1. Computer with internet access
  2. Paper
  3. Pen or pencil
  4. Copy of the taxonomy database activity
  5. Copy of the fish classification sheet
  6. Copy of the taxonomy writing assignment
  7. Copy of the writing instruction sheet, editing form, and FCAT rubric

Teacher Preparation:

  1. Print out a copy of the taxonomy database activity, the fish classification sheet, and the taxonomy writing assignment. Photocopy enough for everyone in your class.
  2. Make sure the computers are ready for the students so there is no lost time. Put the Linking home page up on each computer:
  3. Make sure there are enough copies of the three components of the writing lesson. You can print out and photocopy new ones or reuse the old ones.
  4. Key to Database Activity.

When you print out a copy make sure your print setup orientation is Landscape.


  1. The students start at the "Linking" home page, click on "Curriculum Materials," click on "Taxonomy: What's In a Name,?" and click on "Taxonomy Overview."
  2. Ask them to read the taxonomy overview. (20-30 minutes)
  3. When they have finished reading, pass out the fish classification sheet and the taxonomy database activity. Ask the students to complete it.
    (20-30 minutes)
  4. Pass out the taxonomy writing assignment and then ask the students to complete it.
    (30 minutes)
  5. Have the students get out the writing instruction sheet, the editing form, and the FCAT rubric. Using these forms, they should edit a partner's paper and then trade back to revise their own.
    (20-30 minutes)

Total Time estimates:

Two 50-minute class periods

Assessment suggestions:

Coming soon

Extension suggestions:

Coming soon