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Vertebrates are animals that have a spine. This unit helps students understand that vertebrates share common characteristics, including bone structure and major parts of the skeleton, and that vertebrates can be organized into five classes: mammals, birds, fish, reptiles, and amphibians. Each class of vertebrates can be distinguished from the others by its common characteristics, including body covering, body temperature, means of breathing, birth method, and other distinguishing features. [For invertebrates resources, find the Invertebrates unit in the Life Sciences domain.]


Supporting Materials

Show Me Only

Additional Reading

Comprehension Support


Science Videos

A Day in the Life of a Sea Otter
Adventures of the Atlantic Spotted Dolphin
Creatures of the Deep: Anglerfish
Creatures of the Deep: Chimaera
Dinosaur Bird Bones
Dolphins at the Doctor
Five Classes of Vertebrates
Manatees in the Crystal River National Wildlife Refuge
Open Rivers: Abundant Fish
The Harbor Seal in Seaside Homebody
The Killer Whale in Three of a Kind
The Manatee in Destination: Warm Waters
Wandering Seals
Weird Animals: Blackspotted Puffer Fish
Weird Animals: Giant Moray Eel
Weird Animals: Manta Ray
Weird Animals: Painted Flutemouth Fish

Career Files

Farrier; Paleontologist; X-ray Technician

Reading A-Z Books

The Hard Stuff! All About Bones - Level R

Retelling Rubrics

Nonfiction Retelling Rubric

Vocabulary Cards

Word Work

Unscramble; Matching; Word Sort

Book Assembly