Leaf identification activity: dichotomous classification key to deciduous leaves

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Bring nature to your classroom! In this wonderful leaf activity, the students investigate various deciduous leaves and determine what trees they are from. They use the dichotomous classification key to deciduous trees to correctly identify the names of most common deciduous trees.

Included is also my LESSON PLAN that shows step-by-step how I implemented this fun leaf identification activity during my science lesson.

The activity is a lot of fun, investigative work and my students enjoyed it tremendously. It is also aligned with the Utah core standard for science (Standard 5, Objective 3): Use a simple classification system to classify unfamiliar Utah plants or animals.

The key features the following deciduous trees (both picture and description of each tree is included):

willow
black cottonwood
Norway maple
Fremont cottonwood
aspen
common chokerry
birch
yellow poplar
white poplar
hickory
ash
box elder
walnut
butternut
Rocky Mountain maple
locust
sycamore
sweetgum
buckeye
pecan
horse chestnut
Northern red oak
gamble oak
magnolia
Russian olive

This key will save you tons of work. I literally spent hours, meticulously putting it together. Enjoy!

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You may also be interested in my other key:
Leaf identification activity: coniferous leaves

Here are more of my Utah-related resources:
Tiger salamander: close reading passage+ comprehension questions; CCSS aligned
Nonfiction close reading passages: Utah prairie dogs; CCSS aligned
Nonfiction close reading passages: Desert tortoise; CCSS aligned
Mountain lion (cougar/puma): close reading passage; CCSS aligned
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Thank you for looking.

© Joanna Baginska
Total Pages
16
Answer Key
N/A
Teaching Duration
90 Minutes

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Leaf identification activity: dichotomous classification k
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