Dichotomous Classification Key Activity

Rated 4.8 out of 5, based on 478 reviews
478 Ratings
Amy Brown Science
Grade Levels
4th - 7th, Homeschool
Formats Included
  • Zip
  • Google Apps™
7 pages
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Amy Brown Science
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The Teacher-Author indicated this resource includes assets from Google Workspace (e.g. docs, slides, etc.).
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This printable or digital resource is a classification key to a "crazy" animal kingdom of cartoon animals and is perfect for the younger scientists! The simple pictures and key are designed for students learning to use a dichotomous key for the first time. Students are given pictures of some mixed up "animals" and will use the key to find out the name of the animal. There are follow up and analysis questions. Finally, students will write and construct their own classification key to classify 6 birds. All images are included.

Both printable and digital versions of this resource are included. The student handouts can be printed or used in the paperless digital format in your Google Drive, Google Classroom, Microsoft OneDrive, or similar. This resource is perfect for traditional classroom settings, 1:1 schools, or for distance learning.

What is included in your download folder?

  • Printable and Editable Student Handouts (4-Page Handout)
  • Digital paperless versions (not editable) for use in Google Drive, Google Classroom, and/or Microsoft OneDrive
  • Teacher Guide and Answer Key (3-Pages)

This is a very simple and elementary classification key that can be used at the beginning of a unit on classification. The purpose of this key is to teach the students how to use a dichotomous key. 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 resource is very appropriate for elementary grades, and middle school grades. I even use this in my high school biology classes as a simple and silly way to teach dichotomous keys. My high school students find it entertaining. They quickly grasp the concept of the dichotomous classification key, and we move on to more scientific keys.

Answers are included. Your download will include both an editable Word document and a pdf form of this activity.

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Total Pages
7 pages
Answer Key
Teaching Duration
1 hour
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to see state-specific standards (only available in the US).
Follow precisely a multistep procedure when carrying out experiments, taking measurements, or performing technical tasks.


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