Looking for an Engaging and Essential Topic for Homeschool Study?

A semester-long study of the kingdoms of living things is just the thing!

Earth Party!

And just what are the kingdoms of living things? They are the major groupings of life forms: bacteria, fungi (mushrooms), protozoa (pond water protists, molds), plants, and animals. All of life can be generally placed in one of these five groups. We offer our Earth Party! curriculum and class to tackle just this subject! Our curriculum begins with exploring the origins of the modern taxonomic system, and continues through each of the five kingdoms, spending roughly two weeks on each kingdom grouping.

Course Overview:

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  • Curriculum for grades 1-6 (details)
  • Online class for grades 4-6 (details)
  • Study comprises a Teacher Book and a Student Book
  • Required literature books:
    • Karl, Get Out of the Garden!
    • Tree of Life
    • Kingfisher Science Encyclopedia
  • 12 weeks long
  • Multi-sensory and interdisciplinary
  • A USB microscope is required for many of the labs and explorations (link)

Karl Linnaeus: The Father of the System

Both the curriculum and the class begin with exploring Karl Linnaeus, born and active in Sweden in the 18th century. He created the classification system for a specific reason — to end the chaos over how plants and animals were referred to. As a doctor and botanist, he knew a lot about plants; he was tired of the confusion over all of the different names for each plant that he utilized in medicine. Indeed, if any of us were headed to a pharmacy and there were 25 names for one prescription, it would be hard to verify we were getting the correct medicine. No good!

This book, Karl, Get Out of the Garden!, is used to explore just this — the story of an amazing botanist and zoologist.

Linnaeus’ “Spreadsheet:” Systema Naturae

One of the video shorts we recently explored in our summer Earth Party class was this snippet about the system Linnaeus organized, creating a detailed chart that listed groupings of living things. This publication and scientific work he titled Systema Naturae. The video below gives an excellent overview of what he created, and what it can be compared to today. Linnaeus was ahead of his time!

Class Paradoxa

Did you know, when Karl Linnaeus divided up the animal kingdom, he created a class for mythical animals — Paradoxa — for animals which were rumored to exist, such as hydra and unicorns, etc? Something we appreciate about Linnaeus taxonomic decision — he left open the possibility that some of these mythical animals were here — or maybe had been here.

Cool Animal: Duckbill Platypus (Ornithorhynchus anatinus)

(And no….the duckbill is not glued on!)

One of the great joys in teaching this subject is all that is learned and wondered about so many life forms. Here is a fun video about an animal kingdom oddity…

For more information on Classifying Living Things

Explore the Linnaean Society of London. They have many curious and interesting videos and resources for parents and students. Here is a link to the education portion of the website.

For information on our online class, click on the image below!

Earth Party Science: Fall 2021

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