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Trees & Keys

Class Details

3 Hours

4th Grade to Adult


What tools and techniques help us discover and identify the major trees at Wolf Ridge?

Students will learn how to construct and use a simple dichotomous identification key. Given a map and a simplified tree and shrub key, students will travel between trees and attempt to identify them correctly. Temperate and tropical forests will be compared and students will learn about species diversity.

Lesson Plan


  1. A growing human population is making increasing demands on natural resources.
  2. Humans have a great ability to alter natural systems, and a responsibility to consider the effects of our actions.
  3. A complex natural system is more stable than a simple one, and more able to absorb disturbances.


  • Construct, understand and use a simple dichotomous key to identify up to 18 trees and shrubs around Wolf Ridge.
  • Evaluate their role in the stewardship of natural resources.
  • Appreciate the plant diversity found in the forests of Wolf Ridge.