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Use of Dichotomous Keys in Classification (Biology Lab)

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Purpose: To teach students how to use a dichotomous classification key.

Students will move and rotate through various stations set up in the room. Each station will have a picture of an animal in the animal kingdom. The students will have a few minutes to look at the characteristics of the animal and determine its classification within the animal kingdom. Students will choose between three simple classification keys: Dichotomous Key to the Classes of the subphylum Vertebrata, Dichotomous Key to the Phyla of Invertebrates, or Dichotomous Key to Selected Classes of the Phylum Arthropoda. Students will use the appropriate classification key and record their answers in a data table.

This activity is appropriate for middle school grades as well as high school general science and biology classes. This is one of my favorite labs that I do with my Biology I students. They love looking at the pictures of all the different animals and learning how to classify them. Your download will include a lab that is ready to be copied and passed out to your students. It will include Title, Purpose, Procedure, 3 Dichotomous Keys, Data Tables, Follow Up Question, and Teaching Tips. You can choose to have your students write their own lab report or they can use the included Student Data Pages.

Answers and Teacher Preparation Notes are included.

I have also included a picture file of 27 pictures that you can use. You can print these out, laminate them, and use them year after year.

This product is also sold in a large, bundled unit containing 13 products: Bundled Classification Unit

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Amy Brown (Science Stuff)
Total Pages
8
Answer Key
Included
Teaching Duration
55 Minutes

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On  August 12, 2012Caroline Jones (TpT Seller) said:
Excellent lab for those active students who need to get up and move around. Your questions really made students think about why we need a dichotomous key and use higher order thinking skills.
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On  June 25, 2011Science Rules (TpT Seller) said:
Excellent way to give students the opportunity to learn, apply and reinforce using dichotomous keys. This lab is very 'do-able' and can also be easily modified either way to include more examples, or less, get more complex or less. Highly recommended!
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Use of Dichotomous Keys in Classification (Biology Lab)
Use of Dichotomous Keys in Classification (Biology Lab)
Use of Dichotomous Keys in Classification (Biology Lab)
Use of Dichotomous Keys in Classification (Biology Lab)