Preposterous Dichotomous Keys

This website is called Welcome to the World of Agnes Pflumm. Agnes is literary character created by Merrie Koester Southgate who is a science education novelist and illustrator. Agnes is a scientifically-minded, curious young girl that loves to experiment and explore. This website provides the necessary skills  for students to learn dichotomous keys, in a creative way. This lesson plan can easily be downloaded as a PDF and contains specific instructions on how to use dichotomous keys to classify mythical aliens. The activity includes a direct instruction component, followed by a formative assessment in which the students create their own dichotomous key for classifying their own creature creations. The activity is really based on the u201cI do-We do-You dou201d instructional strategy.

Standards & Objectives

Academic standards
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.2.5
Know and use various text features (e.g., captions, bold print, subheadings, glossaries, indexes, electronic menus, icons) to locate key facts or...
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.2.7
Explain how specific images (e.g., a diagram showing how a machine works) contribute to and clarify a text.
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.4.10
By the end of year, read and comprehend informational texts, including history/social studies, science, and technical texts, in the grades 4-5 text...
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.4.7
Interpret information presented visually, orally, or quantitatively (e.g., in charts, graphs, diagrams, time lines, animations, or interactive...
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.3.7
Explain how specific aspects of a text's illustrations contribute to what is conveyed by the words in a story (e.g., create mood, emphasize...
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.4.7
Make connections between the text of a story or drama and a visual or oral presentation of the text, identifying where each version reflects specific...
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.SL.4.3
Identify the reasons and evidence a speaker provides to support particular points.
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.SL.5.3
Summarize the points a speaker makes and explain how each claim is supported by reasons and evidence.
GLE 0201.6.3
Interpret the graphics that support informational texts.
GLE 0401.6.1
Apply skills and strategies to comprehend informational texts.
GLE 0501.7.4
Be aware of how message or meaning changes when a written work is translated into a visual presentation.
GLE 0807.5.2
Use a simple classification key to identify a specific organism.
SPI 0301.6.4
Locate information using available text features (e.g., charts, maps, graphics).
SPI 0401.2.1
Identify the main idea and supporting points of a speech.
SPI 0401.6.6
Use available text features (e.g., graphics and illustrations) to make meaning from text.
SPI 0401.7.2
Identify the main idea in a visual image.
TSS.ELA.2.RI.IKI.7
Identify and explain how illustrations and words contribute to and clarify a text.
TSS.ELA.2.RL.IKI.7
Use information gained from illustrations and words in a print or digital text to demonstrate understanding of its characters, setting, or plot.
TSS.ELA.4.RI.IKI.7
Interpret information presented visually, orally, or quantitatively and explain how the information contributes to an understanding of the text in which it...
TSS.ELA.4.RI.IKI.8
Explain how an author uses reasons and evidence to support particular points in a text.
TSS.ELA.4.RI.RRTC.10
Read and comprehend stories and informational texts throughout the grades 4-5 text complexity band proficiently, with scaffolding at the high end as needed.
TSS.ELA.4.RL.IKI.7
Make connections between the print version of a story or drama and a visual or oral presentation of the same text.
TSS.ELA.4.RL.RRTC.10
Read and comprehend stories and poems throughout the grades 4-5 text complexity band proficiently, with scaffolding at the high end as needed.
TSS.ELA.4.SL.CC.3
Identify the reasons and evidence a speaker provides to support particular points.
TSS.ELA.5.RI.IKI.8
Explain how an author uses reasons and evidence to support points in a text, identifying which reasons and evidence support which points.
TSS.ELA.5.SL.CC.3
Summarize the points a speaker makes and explain how each claim is supported by reasons and evidence.
 
Alignment of this item to academic standards is based on recommendations from content creators, resource curators, and visitors to this website. It is the responsibility of each educator to verify that the materials are appropriate for your content area, aligned to current academic standards, and will be beneficial to your specific students.
 
Learning objectives: 

Objectives:

The students will be able to

  • Use a dichotomous key to identify unknown organisms.
  • Create a dichotomous key for a group of unknown organisms. 

Lesson Variations

Blooms taxonomy level: 
Applying

References

Contributors: