Use of Dichotomous Keys to Identify Stream Organisms

This Use of Dichotomous Keys to Identify Stream Organisms lesson plan also includes:

What kind of organisms are living in the stream? After an explanation on how to use a dichotomous key, groups of three to four use the keys to identify macroinvertebrates from a local freshwater stream. Using the the concept of Stream Index Values, the groups then determine the water quality of the stream. The lesson is part one of a two-part series on dealing with macroinvertebrates.

30 Views 21 Downloads NGSS: Adaptable
Instructional Ideas

  • Use parts of the PowerPoint presentation that are relevant to the lesson as a reference for the class
Classroom Considerations

  • Requires a source of macroinvertebrate specimens
  • Must have access to dichotomous keys for identification purposes
Pros

  • Provides instructions on how to collect specimens
  • Includes a section of safety precautions
Cons

  • The PowerPoint presentation is an overview of the entire series of lessons used as a conference presentation