Invertebrate Dichotomous Keys (home learning)

Invertebrate Dichotomous Keys (home learning)

  • Secondary
  • Year 7 - 8
  • Science
  • Biology
  • Environmental
  • Biodiversity
  • Social
  • Mental Health
  • Mindfulness and Meditation
  • Outdoor Learning
  • ...

Lesson summary

Kids are naturally curious and as we grow we depend on our curiosity to understand the world we live in to lead a full and interesting life. Scientists never stop asking questions and designing hypotheses to test their predictions. Ecologists are scientists who investigate what organisms live where, how many are present and why they live where they do. 

This activity helps you learn how to use a key to identify living things. In particular, you will be using a dichotomous key. A dichotomous key provides pairs of identifying features that lead you to the correct name. Learning how to use a dichotomous key is a cool skill that increases your awareness of the world around you and your role in caring for the environment.

Lesson guides and printables

Student Worksheet

Curriculum mapping

Curriculum codes: 

  • Year 7: Classification helps organise the diverse group of organisms (ACSSU111)

Ideal for: Lower Secondary


  • investigate
  • think and connect 

Time required: Part A – 40 minutes; Part B – 40 minutes; Part C – 30 minutes 

Curriculum connections: Science, Critical and Creative ThinkingSustainability

Resources required

Additional info

When exploring outdoors in the bush, a park or down by the sea, knowing the common and scientific names of things requires you to have a guide. One type of guide that is frequently used are identification keys. Knowing how to use a key to identify plants, birds, reptiles, mammals, insects, fungi, fish or spiders is a way of unlocking the secrets to life on Earth.

The use of keys to identify living things is a practical skill that comes in handy in a variety of different contexts. Some of these uses include identifying bugs that may be in the garden, types of fish species, determining appropriate plants for landscaping or training yourself to become a bird-watching enthusiast or ‘twitcher’.

Learning@Home resources are designed for parents and teachers to use with children in the home environment. They can be used as stand-alone activities or built into existing curriculum-aligned learning programs. Our Learning@Home series includes two types of resources. The first are fun and challenging real-world activities for all ages, the second are self-directed lessons for upper primary and secondary students. These lessons support independent learning in remote or school settings.

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