Classification Challenge

Classification Challenge

Biology 1

Classification Challenge


Taxonomy is the branch of biology that specializes in classifying organisms into a series of groups called taxa. Carl Linnaeous (father of taxonomy) created these taxa and organized living oranisms into them according to similarities. The modern classification system has seven taxa: kingdom, phylum, class, order, family, genus, and species. The largest taxon is kingdom, with the smallest taxon being species. For this web quest in addition to looking at the seven taxonomic groups, we will also classify animals into the six kingdoms. All living things are classified into six kingdoms: Animalia, Plantae, Fungi, Protista, Eubacteria (known as the Monera), and Archaebacteria (newest kingdom). They are divided into these six kingdoms by characteristics that are shared by most of the other living things in that Kingdom.

Professor Planimingi urgently needs your help as biologists in training to help classify unknown living things from a newly discovered island in the Pacific Ocean before any of the living organisms are lost due to humans invading their environment

The Task

Your task is to assist Professor Planimingi as a team of 4 biologists in training, each member specializing in different areas.

Your job is to research the seven taxonomic groups and place them in the correct order within a flow chart. Then you are to assist your teammates to classify various living organisms on the island so you can present your findings in a report to Professor Planimingi for review. Your team will come across one living thing that you and your teammates have never seen before that you will challenge your fellow teams to classify.

The Process

First you will be assigned to a team of biologist in training.

  1. Each team member will assist in researching the seven taxonomic groups.
  2. Place the seven taxonomic groups the correct order (largest to smallest) in a flow chart.
  3. Once the taxonomic groups have been established, you are ready to begin your mission.
  4. Listed below are links to a picture and data on six living things you find on the island. Classify these living things using the data your group collected in steps one and two. Report how you came to the final classification answer. This can be done in the form of a flowchart for each living thing.Sampleflow charts.

Classify these six living things in a kingdom, phylum, and class.

Living Thing #1
Living Thing #2
Living Thing #3
Living Thing #4
Living Thing #5
Living Thing #6
  1. Once your group has classified the six living things, it is your turn to create a living thing that nobody has ever seen before based on the characteristics of one of the kingdoms. Make a poster of your new living thing with a picture and a list of descriptive characteristics.
  2. Combine your taxonomic flow chart, classification problem solving report on each of the 6 living things and your new living organism poster into a combined (word processed) report.
  3. After the reports have been received, the biologist in training groups will classify the new living things. The reports results will be reviewed and the results verified by the creators of the living things.


Click the link below to view the Evaluation form for this WebQuest. Print and add the Evaluation form to your report.

Evaluation Form


Professor Planimingi is so glad you were able to help him out with classifying the living things he found on the island paradise. He hopes that now that you have become experts on classifying living things he can ask for your help again.