Teaching with the Web:
A Collection of Online Treasure Hunts and Webquests


The Biological System of Classification: An Online Treasure Hunt for 2nd Year High School (Science)

Authored by N. Denden and P. Arinto

There are millions of life forms on earth, including human beings. But many are somehow relatedóeven those that donít look alike at all. Exactly which organisms are related can be determined from how they are named. We mean the scientific names of course, and not just the common names.

In this activity we will find out how living things are classified and named. We will read about the life and works of Carolus Linnaeus, who introduced the biological system of classification that we use today.

Letís do this the right way. First of all, letís get you into groups of four. We will do this group activity in the computer laboratory. The rules are simple: Answer the questions below by reading the online resources listed. After you have answered all of the questions, proceed to the Big Question. Be sure to work together. And read carefully.

  1. Why do scientists use scientific names in identifying organisms?
  2. What does its scientific name reveal about an organism?
  3. What is taxonomy?
  4. What do biologists consider when classifying organisms? Or what do they look for in order to determine whether two organisms are related or not?
  5. Who is Carolus Linnaeus? In no more than one sentence, state his contribution to biology.
  6. How many living organisms have been officially identified by scientists?
  7. Differentiate flora and fauna. What is the technical term for both flora and fauna?
  8. What comprises the Five-Kingdom Scheme of Classification according to Whittaker?

Importance of the Use of Scientific Names

How Many Organisms Are There?

Flora and Fauna

Five-Kingdom Scheme - Whittaker


Carolus Linnaeus

From Kingdom to Subphylum

Binomial Nomenclature

Principles of Classification

The Big Question
Look around the school campus and identify five examples of flora and five examples of fauna. Then find out the scientific name of each. Submit your findings in the form of a table like the one below:

(local or common name)
Scientific Name Fauna
(local or common name)
Scientific Name
1.   1.  
2.   2.  
3.   3.  
4.   4.  
5.   5.  

Work on this table as a group. Make sure every member contributes to your list. For example, since there are four of you, each member should be able to name at least one pair of flora and fauna each.

Submit your table (with group members properly identified) during the next class meeting.