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Invertebrates are animals that do not have a spine. While students may be more familiar with vertebrates, it is the invertebrate group that represents over 95 percent of all animals on Earth. This unit explores six groups of invertebrates: poriferans (sponges), cnidarians (e.g., sea jellies and corals), echinoderms (e.g., sea urchins and sea stars), mollusks (e.g., octopuses, snails, and clams), annelids (worms), and arthropods (e.g., insects, spiders, and crustaceans). All invertebrates share several traits, but there is also amazing diversity among invertebrate groups. (For vertebrates resources, find the Vertebrates unit in the Life Sciences domain.)

Supporting Materials

Show Me Only

Additional Reading

Comprehension Support


Science Videos

Coral Forests of the Deep
Creatures of the Deep: Basket Star
Creatures of the Deep: Sea Spider
The Octopus and the Coconut (no audio)
Weird Animals: Sea Cucumber

Career Files

Beekeeper; Entomologist; Lobsterman

Retelling Rubrics

Nonfiction Retelling Rubric

Vocabulary Cards

Word Work

Unscramble; Matching; Fill in the Blank

Book Assembly