Week 36 – What is a Dichotomous Key?

As part of our learning about biological classification (week 31), you completed the Biological Classification POGIL assignment.  Model 4 from that assignment begins with a dichotomous key that helps you determine which kingdom your unknown organism belongs to (Pro Tip – open up that assignment).  We are going to be focusing on photosynthetic organisms (the answer to the ? box) which we know are called Plants!  A dichotomous key can look like a flow chart (like the POGIL) or it can look like a series of questions similar to a choose-your-own-adventure book where one question leads to the next and eventually you figure out the identity of the organism.  To begin, watch the video below to see you to use a dichotomous key:




Now, imagine you are out for a walk in the woods.  You look up at the tall trees and down at the forest floor.  How do you know what’s what?  Is that plant native or a weed?




Need more help?  Click here for a Dichotomous Key Project Example.

Return to Week 36 – Dichotomous Key Project and continue working.

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