In this activity, students use fern specimens or image cards to group species of ferns according to their physical structures (rhizomes, fronds and sporangia).

The purpose is to encourage students to look more closely at fern structures and to introduce them to methods of classification.

By the end of this activity, students should be able to:

  • name and describe the structures of ferns
  • explain what general classification is and why it is important
  • experience devising and revising their own classification system
  • better understand why scientists do not always agree and why species may be reclassified as new information comes to light.

Download the Word file (see link below) for:

  • introduction/background notes
  • instructions on what you need and what to do
  • extension ideas
  • image cards.
    Published 26 October 2010