Vertebrates and Report Info

Animals with a backbone are called vertebrates. Scientists put all vertebrates together into
one group in the animal kingdom. Vertebrates are the animals we know best. They are
everywhere. But although vertebrates are all around us, they make up only a tiny portion of
all species.
The main thing they have in common is a backbone, which is made up of a series of bones
called vertebrate. The vertebrate house and protect the spinal cord, which works with the
brain to control everything in the body. Vertebrates also have an internal skeleton that allows
for movement, support and protection.
Vertebrates are divided into five major subgroups:
• Fish
• Amphibians
• Reptiles
• Birds
• mammals
Fish, amphibians, and reptiles are cold-blooded animals. This means that the temperature of
their body is the same as that of their surrounding environment. Col-blooded animals do not
use a lot of energy to keep the inside of their bodies warm.
Birds and mammals are warm-blooded animals. This means that their body temperature is
maintained at a particular temperature, no matter where they are. Warm-blooded animals use
a lot of energy to keep their bodies warm. Warm-blooded animals can live in very cold
climates, where cold-blooded animals would not survive. All humans are part of the mammal
subgroup of vertebrates. Humans are warm-blooded.
Characteristics of Amphibians
• Soft, moist skin
• Four legs (often webbed feet)
• Cold blooded
• Most lay eggs
Characteristics of Reptiles
• Dry skin covered with hard overlapping scales
• Most have four legs
• Cold-blooded
• Most lay eggs
Characteristics of Birds
• Feathers
• A beak or a bill for a mouth and no teeth
• Warm blooded
• Breathe through lungs
Characteristics of Mammals
• All have hair at some stage in development
• Warm blooded
• Breathe through lungs
• Mothers nurse their young
Characteristics of Fish
• Most have bodies covered with scales
• Cold-blooded
• Breathe through gills
• Most lay eggs
Research Project
Think about a vertebrate you would be interested in learning more about. Gather all
important information and begin writing a brief report explaining your findings. Your
report should be 8 paragraphs in length. Attach a labeled diagram to your report. Due
in 2 weeks. Good Luck!
Paragraph 1
Introduction: Introduce your chosen vertebrate.
Paragraph 2
Describe body shape.
Paragraph 3
Is it warm or cold blooded? Explain.
Paragraph 4
Where it lives.
Paragraph 5
Describe characteristics that make it unique.
Paragraph 6
What it eats.
Paragraph 7
Any adaptations that help the animal survive, catch prey and avoid
Paragraph 8
Conclusion: Summarize the last 6 paragraphs into 1 paragraph.
Writing a Report
There are 3 major steps to follow when you write a classroom report.
1. Select a good topic.
2. Collect information about that topic.
3. Connect that information into a well-written report.
Find good sources of information. As you know, it’s impossible to write a good report
without a good topic and good information. Here are some resources you can use.
Use your school and public libraries.
Use the internet. Be careful, some sources on the internet are not very reliable.
Make sure you are on reliable sites.
Ask your teacher, a parent, or your friends what they know
It is important that you take time to look over all your information before you start
writing your report. By using different kinds of information, you will keep your readers
interested. Try to include the some of the following:
• Quotes form experts
• Colourful or powerful words that fit your topic
• Interesting diagrams and drawings
• Humorous or surprising information about the topic.
Begin your report with a hook. Most writing needs a good hook, something that will start
it off with a bang.
Other ways to Begin…
• With a quote from an interview
• With a dramatic or strong point
• With a description
Now it’s time to tie your facts together in an interesting way. Simply listing the facts
you’ve gathered would turn out like a shopping list: useful, but boring. But linking your
facts together from beginning to end can change a list into an interesting report.
In your report, include someone’s actual words. That’s a quote. A person’s real words are
always interesting. A strong quote from a real person brings your report to life.
Diagrams are excellent for illustrating a point, and for displaying important information
about your topic.
You will need to include a Bibliography page at the end of your report. To make a
bibliography page, simply list your sources alphabetically by the author’s last name, or
by the title if no author is given. If you’ve used the internet for some of your research,
just include the website http address (e.g., in your
Report Rubric
All required All but 1 of the Several required
Required The report
includes all
elements are required
elements were
included in the elements is
elements as
included in the
well as
5-7 accurate 3-4 accurate
Less than 3
Content - At least 8
paragraphs are paragraphs are accurate
Accuracy accurate
paragraphs are detailed in the detailed in the paragraphs are
detailed in the report.
detailed in the
The picture is The picture is The picture is The picture is
exceptionally detailed in
detailed in
terms of
messy or very
terms of design, design,
though it may poorly designed.
neatness and neatness and be a bit messy, It is not clear.
information. and brief in
There are 2
There are more
Mechanics Capitalization There is 1
and punctuation error in
errors in
than 2 errors in
are correct
capitalization capitalization or capitalization or
throughout the or
There are more
Grammar There are no There are 2 There are 3
grammatical or grammatical grammatical or than 3
or spelling
grammatical or
mistakes in the mistakes in mistakes in the spelling
the report.
mistakes in the
Mark: __________________
Parent Signature: ________________________