Make Your Own Dichotomous Key

Updated: Jul 2, 2020

Have you ever been out exploring nature, found an interesting plant or animal, and wondered: what is this? There are many great tools available for identifying objects in nature, including field guides or apps that you can download on your smartphone. One tool you can use is a dichotomous key.

A dichotomous key consists of a series of statements or questions that each consists of two options that can be used to describe something that can be observed about the object being identified. The user must decide which statement best describes the object, following the guide until the object is identified.

One great way to become an expert in using a dichotomous key is to make your own. Using the template and guide provided, see if you can create a dichotomous key that would help the user identify a collection of items from around your house or neighborhood. Be sure to share your dichotomous key with us in the comments, and have fun exploring the nature near you!

Click HERE for the template and guide.

Suggested Activity: - Age: 8+ - Title of Activity: Dichotomous Keys - Link or description of activity


ELC is a not-for-profit 501(c)(3). Admission, memberships & donations are critical to continuing our mission. 


Join or give today!



255 Live Oak Drive

Vero Beach, FL 32963


Located on the western base of the Wabasso Bridge on the 510 Causeway.

ELC is a Smoke-Free campus.  Service Dogs only, please.


Phone: (772) 589-5050

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • YouTube
  • Instagram