1 class periods of 70 minutes each
In this activity students will use a dichotomous key to identify native Utah conifers
- Key to native conifers sheet (attached)
- student worksheet (attached)
- tree pictures (attached)
- collected samples of conifers from the following: Limber, Ponderosa, Lodgepole, or Pinyon Pines; Douglas, Sub-Alpine, or White Firs; Englemann or Blue Spruces; Common, Utah, or Rocky Mountain Junipers.)
- Collect samples of a few native Utah conifers. You may want to collect multiple samples of each conifer if you have a large class. Label them with numbers or letters.
- Make copies of the tree pictures and protect in plastic. Make at least one for each tree or two to make sure students can get a new one when they are ready.
- Pass out the student sheet, keys and a picture to each group of 2 students.
- Read the introduction with the students and have them begin the identification. Check their work as they start.
- Tell students they are now to identify the 12 samples using their key
- When the students are done, hand out the real samples and ask them to identify them.
- Go over the correct names and make sure students understand where they got off track.
Key to pictures:
- pinyon pine
- lodge pole pine
- blue spruce
- white fir
- ponderosa pine
- common juniper
- Engleman spruce
- Limber pine
- Utah juniper
- subalpine fir
- Rocky Mt. Juniper
- Douglas Fir
Lesson Design by Jordan School District Teachers and Staff.