Student Exploration: Dichotomous Keys
Directions: Follow the instructions to go through the simulation. Respond to the questions and
prompts in the orange boxes.
dichotomous key, genus, organism, scientific name, species, traits
Prior Knowledge Question
(Do this BEFORE using the Gizmo.)
Jerome is walking through a park when he sees the spider shown at left. How could
Jerome find out what type of spider it is?
In the field, scientists often have to identify an unfamiliar
thing). A reliable way to identify organisms is to
A dichotomous key is a series of paired statements or questions that lead
to the identification of an organism.
Gizmo allows you to use five different dichotomous
keys to identify a variety of organisms. To begin, make sure
Read the two statements at lower right. Which of the two statements most closely matches the
characteristics of the bird pictured?
Select that statement and click
. Continue until you have correctly identified the albatross. If you
change your mind about a choice, you can click the
button. If you incorrectly identify the albatross,
you can click the
button and try again.
What is the name of the albatross?