Make Cedar Glade Plant Cards – cut out and mount plant photograph cards on 4 x 6 index cards; laminate for durability
Make Plant Description Cards – the Plant Cards are numbered to correlate to the Plant Description Card (see the number in parentheses next to the Latin name for the plant); mount on 4 x 6 index cards; laminate for durability
Make Dichotomous Keys - 1 per student or student team
INSTRUCTIONS: 1. Ask for ten volunteers. The volunteers will be guided by students to the different stations that match their flower’s description on the Dichotomous Key.
The teacher will distribute a Cedar Glade Photograph Card to each volunteer.
Students sitting in their seats will each be given a copy of the Dichotomous Key.
One at a time, a student plant volunteer will be directed by the class through the
dichotomous key by moving to the different stations posted in the room.
Students in the class will take turns reading the description and choices to the plant volunteer. The plant volunteer will move to where there think they should, based on the choices given. For example, if Joshua has a plant with a yellow flower and a red center, he will listen for the two choices for station 1a and 1b. To begin, 1a states if at least one flower is yellow to go to 2; 1b states if the flower is NOT yellow to go to 5. Since his flower is yellow, he will move to station 2a and listen to the descriptions and continue until he ends up at a station that identifies his plant name.
This works well if student teams are formed between a plant volunteer and Dichotomous Key readers. Taking turns, teams read the choices on the key to their plant volunteer, it is up to the plant volunteer to figure out where they need to go.
After all 10 plant volunteers have moved through the key, distribute the plant description cards to the plant volunteers. Were their plants correctly identified? Why or why not? What terms or statement were misleading? What features were missing from the plant photograph that would have made identification easier to determine?
Instruct students to revise the Dichotomous Key or generate a new key based on what they know. Distribute the Cedar Glade Plant Guide to assist students in their revisions.