Grade 6 Life Systems

How primates are categorized in the animal kingdom (vertebrates, mammals).  What makes them different from other mammals.  How the different groups of primates are categorized (lemurs, lorises, tarsiers, new world monkeys, old world monkeys and apes).  Worksheet on what are primates and looking at the differences and similarities between old world monkeys and apes.  The importance of primates and the role they play in their ecosystem (seed disperses, predators and prey) and how their relationships with other animals and plants are important for the ecosystem to function and maintain biodiversity. Watch a few short videos on how chimpanzees huntvs tarsiers and how vervet monkeys use different alarm calls to warn against predators.  Bring in our ape skulls to show the similarities and differences between apes and other mammals.   

Curriculum points covered:

Identify and describe the distinguishing characteristics of mammals(vertebrates have a spinal column, mammals have fur, mammary glands, are warm blooded, give birth to live young), and use these characteristics to further classify primates (e.g vertebrates – mammals – primates).  How primates effect and are connected to their environment as prey and predators.  The niches different primates fill in their environments.  Talk about how maintaining biodiversity is key to keep ecosystems functioning and that as primates are taken out of their environments to use as pets this can upset the delicate balance.  Everything is connected.   

Key concepts/words:

vertebrates,  mammals, primates, biodiversity, pollination, prey, predator