Uploaded by Lynda Espino

Vertebrate and Invertebrate project

Dear Parents and Guardians,
Fourth grade students learn about classifying animals into groups, and they begin by
classifying the vertebrates (animals with backbones) and the invertebrates (animals with no
backbones). As they study animals, fourth grade students discuss common characteristics
and learn to compare animals within and across groups.
An animal’s skeleton, or lack thereof, is one such characteristic that may be used as a
classifying characteristic for a group of animals. For example, some animals, such as worms,
have no bones at all. Others, such as mammals and fish, have bones on the inside of their
body. And some animals wear their skeleton on the outside of their body! This is called an
exoskeleton and its one characteristic that all insects have in common.
Reviewing animal characteristics with your child can go a long way in helping him/her
to remember important science concepts and reinforce at home what he/she's already
learning in school. Here’s a fun and tasty way to help him/her review classifying
characteristics of animals.
An assortment of candy, snacks, or random objects: Junior Mints, gummy Lifesavers,
Twizzlers, large marshmallows, frosting, shredded coconut, pretzel sticks, tree twigs,
bottle caps, etc. (please do not purchase anything for this project as we
encourage students to use scraps or whatever is lying around the house)
Construction paper or paper plate
Writing utensil
1. Each student will need to create a vertebrate and an invertebrate.
2. Using the materials gathered, the student is to create their animals (must be realistic,
ex. Spiders have 8 legs and an abdomen).
3. Now the fun begins! Once she has decided on which animal they will create, have
them label it on their paper or plate.
4. Think about the characteristics of that animal, and use any combination of the sweet
ingredients to create a candy model of that animal with similar characteristics.
5. Each student should have each body part labeled and should be ready to explain the
body part and why they chose the piece of candy for that body part.
A. For example, a Junior Mint is like an insect, because it is hard on the outside (like
an exoskeleton) and soft on the inside. A Twizzler is like a worm because it is
bendable, with no bones or hard parts. A set of Lifesavers threaded on a Twizzler
is like the backbone of a bird. A marshmallow on a toothpick, covered in frosting
and rolled in coconut is like a mammal because it has bones on the inside,
surrounded by flesh, and covered in fur.
6. Please be creative and have fun with this project while remaining factual.
If you have any questions, please feel free to ask. This project is due October 26th, 2018.
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