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This Dichotomous Classification Key Activity worksheet is perfect for homework, or for your introductory lesson on classification. This is a very simple key and should be used at the beginning of a unit on classification. The purpose of this assignment is to teach the students how to use a dichotomous key.
Suitable for biology or life science students in grades 6-10.
A dichotomous key is a classification key that gives the students two choices to choose from before moving on to the next set of choices. Dichotomous keys are often found in field guide manuals.
This activity is a classification key to the orders of the mammals. It is very short and simple. Students are given a list of mammals and they have to use the key to determine the order to which the mammal belongs. Student will also develop a key of their own, and answer a few analysis questions.
After using this as instruction for teaching the concept of the dichotomous key, I would give the students a more complex key to try.