Fur, Feathers and Scales – Classify!

In Fur, Feathers and Scales, Classify! pupils will explore the different vertebrate families deeper with different classification systems. Comparing and contrasting different objects from the natural world students will have to group unfamiliar objects into groups. Pupils will also be introduced to a live animal in order to showcase how humans have an impact on different environments.

Key STage 2 session Fur, Feathers, Scales – Classify!

Key Stage:  KS2 (7-11 years old)

Duration: 30 – 45 min

Capacity: 35 students

Location: Indoor discovery room or traditional Mongolian Ger

You will have the opportunity to choose a location when making a booking over the phone with our booking team.


National Curriculum links:

KS2 Science

Working scientifically

  • Identify and classify;
  • Record findings using simple scientific language, drawings, labelled diagrams, keys, bar charts and tables;
  • Report on findings from enquiries, including oral explanations, displays or presentations of results and conclusions;
  • Talk about criteria of grouping, sorting and classifying and use simple keys.

Living things and their habitats

  • Use classification systems and keys to identify animals and plants;
  • Research unfamiliar animals and plants and decide where they belong in the classification systems;
  • Work of scientists;
  • Impact of humans (both positively and negatively) on environments

KS2 English

  • Spoken Language; Reading – word reading; comprehension;
  • Writing – Transcription; vocabulary

Intended learning outcomes:

Students will be able to;

  • List the different groupings of mammals, birds and reptiles and explain the differences between them
  • Correctly group animals into mammals, birds and reptiles
  • Give an explanation of why animals are classified into groups
  • Acknowledge their lives have an impact on environments both positively and negatively

Many objects from the natural world used in this session are loaned to us by HM Revenue and Customs.

Please be aware that though we aim to use a live animal in this session, we do not guarantee that they will be present – animals can fall ill or be unwilling to be handled and their welfare is ZSL’s first priority. 



For this session

Before your visit:

While at the Zoo:

  • Visit some of our fantastic furry, scaly and feathery animals at the Zoo!


Link to session


Amur tiger



Mexican Blind cave fish


Discovery Centre

African penguin


Right of Europe



Outside Discovery Centre

Whites Tree Frog


Discovery Centre

After your visit:

  • Play a game of 20 questions as a class or in pairs, where the pupils have to guess the Whipsnade Zoo animal by asking questions about its features. Pupils are only allowed to ask questions that can be answered with yes or no, such as ‘Does it have wings?’. Check out our Edge of Existence species for some unusual animals that the pupils can use http://www.zsl.org/conservation-intiatives/animals-on-the-edge


Prepare for your Fur, Feather, Scales Classify session with our information pack:

PDF icon Pre-visit sheet - Fur, Feathers, Scales Classify (538.85 KB)