Download Full Text (882 KB)
The purpose of this lesson is for students to begin to compare and contrast different plant species that are present in the sagebrush ecosystem. For this lesson they will be focusing on shrubs that you can find in this landscape. Students will begin to understand how dichotomous keys work through a sorting and categorizing activity where they will sort and categorize plant samples based on their unique characteristics. Students will begin to understand the importance of using specific adjectives when describing and sorting plants in order to identify them to species. Students will learn more about shrub species that exist in the sagebrush ecosystem through the practice of identifying samples using a simple dichotomous key. Students will also be able to relate how plants fit into the landscape equation throughout the lesson.
Curriculum and Instruction | Education | Science and Mathematics Education
Fisher, Paige L.; Houseal, Ana K.; Tuthill, Dorothy; and Shim, Jenna, "Lesson 6: Plant Identification and Dichotomous Keys" (2016). 5th Grade Ecology Unit: A Sagebrush Expedition. 7.