Year 2 – Working scientifically


  • To develop the children’s ability to identify and classify.
  • To develop the children’s ability to identify the animal group types.

Starter activity 

Take the children outside to the playground. Ask them to ‘pair up’ with children who had similar features to theirs: the same colour eyes, height, hair length, gender and so on. Introduce the term ‘classification’ and explain how this was similar to grouping and sorting. 

Main lesson

Back indoors provide the children, in groups of four, with a range of plastic animals including a human figure and ask them to sort them into as many different group types as possible. 


Ask the groups to share what they have discovered. A common misconception is that the children often left the human figure out of the groups as they did not perceive the human to be an animal and therefore did not include the human in their groupings. 

Next steps

Create a framework for the different animal groups using a ‘Top Trump’ format and make large copies to laminate. Give each group a set of cards and the same plastic animals as before.  Now they have a framework to support their classification. 




For more lesson inspiration and for the theory behind how to develop good lessons, see the Lessons in Teaching Series.