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Insects: A Dichotomous Classification Key Activity

Dichotomous Classification Keys:  KIDS LOVE 'EM!

There is just something about working through a classification key that is fun.  I love them, the students love them .... and the result is a classroom activity that is stimulating, educational, and ... well, it is just FUN!

In my 30+ years of teaching biology, I always look forward to my unit on classification and taxonomy. As a result,  I have developed quite a few teaching materials and lessons on this topic.  After posting these materials in my TpT store, I began to get more and more requests for additional activities that use a dichotomous classification key.  Well, here is the newest addition to this type of activity.

Click image to view product in my TpT store.

There are actually two activities in this product.  Students begin by using the included dichotomous key to the insects to identify 9 different insects. Second, students are given pictures of a representative organism from each of the five classes of the Phylum Arthropoda.  Students are asked to make good observations and develop their own dichotomous key for these arthropods. The dichotomous key and the two pages of pictures can be laminated and used year after year.  Student handouts include 2 pages for their written work. Analysis and follow up questions are also included to extend the activity.

I wrote this activity in response to requests from many upper elementary and middle school teachers.  Therefore, I feel this activity is most appropriate for grades 4-7.  However,  my experience teaching high school tells me that my first year biology students will love this as an introduction to classification.  I hope you enjoy it as much as I enjoyed developing it.

Links to this and related products:

Insects: A Dichotomous Classification Activity
Dichotomous Key to a "Crazy" Animal Kingdom
Dichotomous Key to the Genus "Smiley"
FREE Dichotomous Key to Holiday Giving and Community Service
Classification and Taxonomy Task Cards

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