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Students can generate lists on paper at each table, on chart paper, on a black/white board or using the presentation technology that is available in your classroom.

Step 2

Introduce the concept of dichotomous key. You can use the definition provided below to help introduce this concept. Tell students that they will be using a dichotomous key to determine the botanical classification and names of different types of fleshy fruit.

Note: The dichotomous key used for this inquiry is quite simple and relies on making choices based on observable differences. Therefore, it does not include differentiation choices for all types of fruit.

A dichotomous key is a tool created by scientists,
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called Taxonomists, to help identify and name or group different species of organisms. This tool consists of a series of choices, usually based on the observable physical features of an organism. These choices can help determine an organism scientific name (species and genus). Sometimes a dichotomous key can help sort types of organisms. The process of classifying and naming living things is known as taxonomy.

Step 3

Optional: Have students watch Video 1: Dichotomous Key to help introduce the concept of a dichotomous key by demonstrating how familiar birds are classified. The dichotomous key in the video is represented as a vertical list of choices, instead of tree diagram format that is used for this inquiry. Since banana seeds are very small and many grapes these days are seedless cultivars,
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students may not realize there are seeds in these fruit.