As you look around your backyard, you might see something you've never seen before, or notice something different about the grass, rocks, or trees that are in your yard. Part of being a scientist is being observant and writing down the things you see so you don't forget. You can keep a science journal, and write notes and draw pictures about the things you see and do.
Another important part of being a scientist is giving names to the things that we see. This is called classification. Classification is a way of organizing or sorting all of the different living things in to big groups, and then dividing them up into smaller groups. When we give names to things, it can help us understand them. Classification helps us to understand the world better. In your backyard you can explore the names of trees, bugs, rocks, flowers, and more!
Animals, plants, and fungi are the three main groups of things that you might find in the backyard. Big groups like that are called kingdoms. Inside the animal kingdom there are big and small creatures such as horses, dogs, squirrels, frogs, fish, birds, and all kinds of insects. The plant kingdom includes everything from giant trees to small flowering plants and grass. The fungi kingdom has a lot of different living things in it, including mold and mushrooms. Did you see any mushrooms in your backyard? If so, you found something from the fungi kingdom!
If you are wondering about an insect you find, or a type of flower, try to look it up in a field guide. You can borrow books from your library, or look here. To use the field guide, think about what group the thing you are trying to identify is in: is it an insect, spider, tree, or flowering plant? If you spot an animal, is it a mammal, reptile, or amphibian? If you know this, it will help you find the right part of the field guide to look in.