Dichotomous Keys Activities for Middle School Science

The resources below will provide students a comprehensive understanding of dichotomous keys. All of the following lessons are also included in the Kesler Science Membership.

The Dichotomous Keys 5E Lesson includes materials for every "E" phase, including the Dichotomous Keys Station Lab for Exploration and an interactive PowerPoint with digital INB templates for Explanation.


The lesson also includes introduction materials for Engagement, student-choice project ideas for Elaboration, and assessments for Evaluation.


After completing the Dichotomous Keys 5E Lesson, students will be able to examine organisms or their structures such as insects or leaves and use dichotomous keys for identification.


Distance-Learning Ready

The Dichotomous Keys Inquiry Lab is a hands-on activity that is differentiated for advanced, on-level, and modified middle school students.


In this lab, students will will sort leaves based on their characteristics and then identify structures that are used to classify leaves (leaf shape, margin shape, and patterns of venation). They will then follow a dichotomous key to identify “mystery” leaves.


The Dichotomous Keys Inquiry Lab includes a brief reading passage, comprehension checks, hands-on activities, reflection questions, and a CER conclusion.


Distance-Learning Ready

Sub Plans


The Dichotomous Keys Sub Plan is a complete lesson that takes students through a warm-up, reading passage, independent activity, extension activities, and an assessment.

The worksheets are designed to make your sub day a breeze for you, your students, and the substitute teacher. They are also perfect for distance learning.



Distance-Learning Ready


Dichotomous Keys Classroom Experiences

Create a powerful student experience to help solidify students' understanding about dichotomous keys. All of the following experiences are also included in the Kesler Science Membership.

The Dichotomous Keys Escape Room is an immersive experience for you students. It allows them to demonstrate their knowledge of dichotomous keys in a fun and engaging way.

Students must use what they have learned to examine organisms or their structures such as insects or leaves and use dichotomous keys for identification to complete the escape room.


Distance-Learning Ready

stem challenges

The Project, Keys to the Kingdom - Create a Button Dichotomous Key STEM Challenge uses the engineering design process to create a dichotomous key. Students will be given a group of unique buttons that each represent an organism from a different species. They will first need to name each of the organisms, then build a dichotomous key based on their characteristics.


Students will be using collaborative skills such as brainstorming with their peers and reflecting on their progress during the project.


At the end of the Project, Keys to the Kingdom - Create a Button Dichotomous Key, STEM challenge, students are given an opportunity to share their projects outside of the classroom.


Year-Round Resources


These year-round activities will increase your students' understanding of many middle school science topics. All of these activities are also included in the Kesler Science Membership.

You're not alone if your students struggle with understanding graphs, charts, and tables. It's a skill that takes an enormous amount of practice. This resource will help students build a strong foundation in analyzing data and creating their own data visualizations.

These middle school science bell ringers are an excellent way to engage your students as soon as they walk into your classroom. This comprehensive FULL YEAR resource includes everything you need to start off each science class with an interesting warm-up activity.

Each game board has been carefully designed to keep students engaged. There are 10 different action spaces on each board and dozens of question cards. All of the actions are related to science concepts and keep the students motivated throughout the game.

Each game is ready to play. Simply print out the board and the cards and let the students enjoy reviewing nine different units.


Essential Questions and Standards

Below are the essential questions and standards associated with the lessons and activities included in the dichotomous keys unit. This topic is only one of more than 100 middle school science topics included in the Kesler Science Membership.

Essential Questions
  • How can you identify organisms or objects using a dichotomous key?
Standards
  • TEKS Science 7.11 A - Examine organisms or their structures such as insects or leaves and use dichotomous keys for identification

access every resource.

Kesler Science Membership

Imagine never having to search for another middle school science lesson again. The membership gives you access to ALL of the Kesler Science products in one place (Yes, including everything above).  

Say goodbye to long hours of lesson prep.