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Dichotomous Key – Insect

Activity Summary
This dichotomous key exercise utilizes local insects to demonstrate how physical changes signaled at a genetic level culminate in the identifying features of species, genera, families, etc. Students are given the opportunity to find insects (potentially for extra credit) and subsequently use simple dichotomous keys to identify the insects down to the order. Emphasis is placed on
how keys operate and students are encouraged to use magnify glasses and/or microscopes to assist them in identification.

Grade Levels

Learning Objectives
1. List the categories of biological classification, starting with the broadest (kingdoms) and ending with the most specific                 (species)
2. Demonstrate the ability to correctly key out an unknown organism

Lesson Materials (view or download)
Lesson Plan

classification, dichotomous key, couplet

Last updated: 3/3/2015