Classification: Dichotomous Key
Commencement, 9th Grade, 10th Grade
This lesson is a student-centered, interactive way to teach dichotomous keys.
To teach students about the naming system used in biology and its basis by utilizing various approaches as to appeal to multiple intelligences.
To teach how organisms and species similarities are used to classify them, and how their evolutionary changes are reflected in their classifications, per New York State Math Science Technology Standard 4.
Also, Benchmarks for Science Literacy 5 – The Living Environment, particularly Diversity of Life, will be utilized.
Moreover, this lesson meets NSTA standards for science teaching:
- B - Teachers of science guide and facilitate learning,
- C - Teachers of science engage in ongoing assessment of their teaching and of student learning,
- D - Teachers of science design and manage learning environments that provide students with the time, space, and resources needed for learning science.
- By the end of the lesson, students will be able to explain the classification process and nomenclature used for classifying organisms.
- At the close of the lesson, students will be able to use dichotomous keys to identify organisms with 90% accuracy.
- Students will recognize the importance of a systematic means of classification.
SMART Board with laptop, projector, and Internet access
Handouts - Printed from regentsprep.org
Lecture notes as appropriate
- Direct instruction will dominate this section of the lesson.
- Students will be given a “Do Now” consisting of an exercise to review classification, at the teacher's discretion, which may include key vocabulary.
- After a few minutes, it will be reviewed with the class to complete stimulation of schema.
- Then, students will be asked questions based upon the previous class and prior night’s homework, which dealt with an introduction to classification. The focus will be on
- Binomial nomenclature
- How to write names of organisms scientifically
- Characteristics of classification/relatedness of species
- Students will be asked to come up with a way to organize information regarding relatedness of species.
- We will brainstorm as a class, utilizing an inquiry-style of learning.
- The following notes will be put up on the SMART Board from regentsprep.org:
Let's take a look at some tips!
Then, students will receive a handout of a dichotomous key printed from the above website. We will discuss this as a class.
- Cooperative learning will dominate this portion of the lesson.
- After students have become efficient using the dichotomous key, eight students will be asked to volunteer for an unknown task.
- Working in pairs, students will create a dichotomous key to tell these students apart, utilizing higher levels of thinking, as delineated by Bloom’s taxonomy.
- Appropriateness will be stressed, and examples given.
- Teacher will scaffold learning and spend more time with those needing additional support.
- Students will be accommodated according to their diverse needs. This includes, but is not limited to, outlines and further information on classification and assistance with reading.
- Students have assigned seats based upon specific learning needs to accommodate different styles of learning.
- Students will share their dichotomous keys.
- These skills will be built upon more at a later time, most likely when a detailed study of the diverse living things in our environment takes place.
- The student-generated summaries/explanation of the dichotomous keys will be monitored for accuracy, with corrections made by the teacher as needed.
- The student-created dichotomous keys will be collected and evaluated for correctness and creativity.
- The students will be tested on dichotomous keys at a later time on their chapter test.
- The level of student achievement in completion of student-generated dichotomous keys and homework will correlate with success of exercise.
- Teacher will answer the following questions:
- Did the students find this interesting?
- Did this show them a real-life way for using classifications that will carry over to other aspects of life?
This instructional content was intended for use with a SMART Board. To download free SMART Notebook software from the SMART Technologies website, please click here.
Jeanine Branham, Enlarged City School District of Middletown