Dichotomous classification keys are often used in field guides to help the user quickly and easily identify trees, flowers, insects, frogs, etc. They are also a very effective teaching tool in our science classrooms. They can be used to teach scientific terms and characteristics of any type of living organism. But I think one of the most important uses in our classroom is the fact that they reinforce observation skills, and strengthen problem solving and critical thinking in our students.
I receive many requests for classification keys on different topics. Over the years, I have developed quite a few activities that use the dichotomous classification key.
My newest is called "Dichotomous Key to the Genus Smiley." In this simple key, students first learn how to use a dichotomous key. But the best part of this activity is that students are also required to develop their own dichotomous key to key out 6 different insects. This requires a higher level of thinking and problem solving that provides excellent practice of these skills for our students.
|Dichotomous Key to the Genus "Smiley"|
Additional products that use the dichotomous classification key are:
|Dichotomous Key to a CRAZY Animal Kindgom|
|Freebie! This is one of my favorites: Dichotomous Key to Holiday Giving and Community Service|
|Let's Build a Cladogram!|
|Let's Learn to Use and Build a Dichotomous Key!|
|Lab: Use of Dichotomous Key in Classification|
Click here to view all of my classification/taxonomy products.