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Main Curriculum Tie:
For each student:
Background For Teachers:
The word “dichotomy” means “division into two.” A dichotomous key reduces the task of identifying something into a series of questions that are based on physical features. Each set of questions offers opposing answers from which to choose. As students make choices and eliminate others, they will eventually discover the name of the mystery item.
Throughout this lesson, students will make observations and record them in a science journal. They will also spend time in cooperative learning groups in a variety of ways to ask questions and discuss the information they learn.
The plants used in your investigations should include (but not be limited to) the ones on the Science wordlist for Standard 5:
Intended Learning Outcomes:
Nesbit, C., Hargrove, T., Harrelson, L., (Winter, 2004). Implementing Science Notebooks in the Primary Grades. Science Activities, 40(4), 2.
This article details the process teachers can use to teach how to use science notebooks. It highlights the benefits associated with using notebooks, and provides connections to National Science Standards.
Shlomo, S. (1999). The Handbook of Cooperative Learning Methods. Westport, Connecticut, Praeger Publishers, 226.
This text defines and discusses cooperative learning and outlines a variety of ways to use this strategy in different curriculum areas.
Adams, D., & Hamm, M. (1998). Literacy in Science, Technology, and the Language Arts: An Interdisciplinary Inquiry. Westport, Conneticut: Bergin & Garvey. p. 129.
This text deals with science and mathematics inquiry processes as tools that enable students to gather and discover data for themselves through the process of scientific inquiry.
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