Build student understanding of dichotomous keys by having them create their own. Students tackle a hands-on sorting activity from which they create a dichotomous key.
Then they use their abilities to 'identify' the snowmen by using a dichotomous key.
And they go one step further by creating their own dichotomous key to snowmen.
This is a great supplement to your classification and taxonomy unit and a fun way to teach dichotomous keys in the winter and holiday time.
Included in this download:
- Understanding Dichotomous Keys: students sort small items based on observable traits and build a dichotomous key to the items
- Dichotomous Key to Snowmen: Students identify the snowmen in the pictures by following a dichotomous key
- Creating a Dichotomous Key to Snowmen: Students are given a new set of snowmen pictures and asked to create a dichotomous key.
Instructions, handouts, and answer key is included. Extension ideas are discussed, such as having the students exchange keys and have another group try to identify their items/snowmen based on the first group's chosen traits.
These activities can be performed in 1-2 class periods, depending upon the amount of time taken for extension activities.