Classifying Australian Vertebrates

Course Access: Lifetime
Course Overview

STEMLinc Video Conferencing:  Students will investigate why classification is so important and how scientists group living things. They will draw connections between the structure and function of different animal groups to their classification. Through animal encounters and keen observation, students will be able to classify each animal and create their own dichotomous key. (Image: Mukinbudin Council) 

Year Level Suitability: 7 – 8

Duration: 1 hour

STEM in a box: You will receive a teacher guide with follow-up activities.

 Background Information:

Australia is famous for its unique and diverse vertebrate animals. It is the only continent to still have all three of the major groups of mammals: monotremes (egg-layers), marsupials and placentals, with over half of its mammal species being marsupials.

Prior Knowledge:

No prior knowledge is required.

Learning Intentions:

In this program students will:

  • Classify Australian vertebrates
  • See different ways to identify living things.
  • Create a dichotomous key to identify Australian vertebrates.
  • Understand the meanings of endothermic and ectothermic animals


In this program students will:

  • Observe various Australian vertebrates (some live)
  • Determine which group each animal belongs to and why
  • Group a variety of Australian animals (vertebrates) on the basis of similarities and differences in particular features
  • Observe and discuss various adaptations of each group of animals
  • Play a game to try to identify skulls of various Australian animals shown to them
  • See how they could use free Apps such as INaturalist and Google Lens to identify living things

Victorian Curriculum:

Science: Science Understanding – Biological Sciences

  • There are differences within and between groups of organisms; classification helps organise this diversity (VCSSU091)

Science: Inquiry Skills – Recording and Processing

  • Construct and use a range of representations including graphs, keys and models to record and summarise data from students’ own investigations and secondary sources, and to represent and analyse patterns and relationships (VCSIS110)


Bookings:  This program is only available ON REQUEST 

Please email us with your enquiry for booking a time for this program:

IMPORTANT:  Cancellation Policy

  1. When you book you will receive an automated message from Eventbrite.  Save this carefully please.
  2. Any cancellations need to be received in time for STEMLinc to re-sell your tickets to other teachers.
  3. Please use the Eventbrite confirmation email to facilitate any cancellation of your booking.  That will automatically release your ticket for re-sale on our system.

Date and TimeTicket availableBooking link

Term Lesson Date/time Click to book (Note 1 ticket = a class of 25 students)