Candy Keys

By Susan M. Frack

Teacher Background:

This activity reviews/teaches students how to use a dichotomus key using different types of candy.

Student Background:

To classify objects, you must notice details of size, shape position and structure, differences in color and texture are often necessary as well. You must learn to observe carefully to distinguish these differences in different, yet related, objects.

Objective:

Use a dichotomus key to create your own "bag of treats".

Materials:

  • Worksheet, 1 per student
  • 11 different types of candy--see list on answer page*
  • Ziplock bags

Procedure:

Teacher directions:

  1. List candies on the board--A-K--don't use names.
  2. Students select 5 letters and get 1 sample of each letter in their bags.
  3. Students key out each sample and record the path on their worksheet.
  4. Teacher checks path. Students correct if needed.
  5. Students eat treats.

Student directions: 

  1. Look at the list of candies on the board and choose 5. Record the letters on your data chart in the proper spot.
  2. Get 1 sample of your first choice and use the key to find its Latin name. List each step you go to, in order, on your data chart. Make an educated guess of its common name and write it in your data chart in the proper spot.
  3. Have the teacher check your pathway. Redo it if necessary.
  4. Repeat steps 3 and 4 with each of the other 4 candies.
  5. Enjoy your treats.

*CANDY ANSWERS:

A. gummi bears

B. saltwater taffy

C. tootsie roll

D. Hershey kiss

E. starburst

F. jawbreakers

G. jolly rancher

H. peppermint disc

I. Butterscotch disc

J. dum-dum

K. fireballs

CANDY KEY FAMILY: Candius GO TO

1a. candy is chewy. . . . . . . . .. . . . . . 2

1b. candy is hard. . . . . .. .. . . . . . .. 7

2a. candy is wrapped. . . . . . . . . . . . . 3

2b. candy is not wrapped. . . . . . . . . . . Ursa gummus

3a. candy is rounded. . . . . . . . . . . . . 4

3b. candy is not rounded. . . . . . . . . . 5

4a. wrapper is all white. . . . . . . . . . . Saltus taffinia

4b. wrapper is not white. . . .. . . . . . . . 5

5a. wrapper is brown and white. . . . . . . . .tutus rollus

5b. wrapper is not brown and white. . . . . . .6

6a. wrapper is silver. . . . . . . . . . . . . Chocolatus cyssan

6b. wrapper varies in color. . . . . . . . . . Steorra explodus

7a. candy is spherical (ball-shaped). . . . . 8

7b. candy is not spherical. .. . . . . . . . . 9

8a. candy is wrapped. . . . . . . . . . . . .. 11

8b. candy is unwrapped. . . . . .. . . . . . . Mandiblus crackus

9a. wrapper is transparent. . . . . . . . . . 10

9b. wrapper tells the flavor. .. . . . . . .. Joyous rancheria

10a. wrapper is clear. . . .. . . . . . . . . . Mintus stripus

10b. wrapper is yellow. . . . . . . . . . . . . Ranunculus scotchus

11a. candy is on a stick. . . . . . . . . . . . Moronus moronus 11b. candy is not on a stick. . . . . . . . . . Sperus combustus DATA CHART

Candy Letter Pathname Latin Name Common Name