Using a good reference book, or books, read about echinoderm, porifera, cnidaria, and mollusks. Our favorite book for this lesson is Come Learn with Me: Animals Without Backbones.
Characteristics of Phylum Echinodermata (spiny skin)
1) Covered with hard plates and thick, spiny skin
2) Radial symmetry (
3) Live in the ocean
Characteristics of Phylum Porifera (pore bearer)
1) Simplest multi-cellular animal
2) Live in warm ocean water
3) Reproduce via budding (forming a new growth on the side of their bodies which eventually breaks off and anchoring to grow on its own)
4) Can regenerate (regrow) damaged or broken parts of their bodies
Characteristics of Phylum Cnidaria (nettle)
1) Live in water
2) Have tentacles (
3) Have a poisonous sting
Characteristics of Phylum Mollusca (soft body)
1) Soft moist body
2) Muscular foot
3) Thick skin or mantle
4) Usually has an outer shell
Student will be able to list major characteristics of echinoderm, porifera, cnidaria, and mollusks and give an example of each. Student will be able to define radial symmetry, budding, regeneration, and tentacles
Younger students: Draw a picture of a particular species of echinoderm, porifera, cnidaria, or mollusk and use the biodiversity website to explore the animal's taxonomy.
Older students: Fill out an animal report form (this one from CurrClick is free and will work for this activity), making sure to include the characteristics that make this animal an echinoderm, porifera, cnidaria, or mollusk. Use the bio-diversity website to explore the animal's taxonomy.