Oregon grows approximately 35% of the nation’s total peppermint. In 2018, Oregon had 19,000 acres of peppermint being grown around the state. In the same year, 1.6 million pounds of peppermint was produced holding a monetary value of over $34 million.
This lesson is a fun and tasty way to introduce students to dichotomous keys and how to create their own keys using mint candies and mint plant varieties. Then, students will be tasked with creating a dichotomous key to classify types of mint plants using distinguishable characteristics.
Activity 1: What is a Dichotomous Key?
Students will be introduced to the concept of a dichotomous key through a short video.
Activity 2: Characteristics of Mint Candies
Students will explore the concept of a dichotomous key by creating one using a variety of mints that were included in their student kits. Students will list observable characteristics of their mints individually. Then, as a class they will work to create a dichotomous key.
Activity 3: Introduction to Mint Production
Students will be invited to watch a video on mint production and encouraged to explore the concept of living organisms through a mint plant.
Activity 4: A Key to Mint Varieties!
Students will be shown pictures of different mint varieties. Using the photos, they will create their own dichotomous key using characteristics they choose.
Curriculum is broken up into small activities that can be done over multiple sittings allowing students to have good breaking spots in between each part.
See this lesson in Modular Delivery through our Google Classroom Example, follow the instructions below.
1. Log in to a google email account, it does not have to be associated with a school.
2. In the menu option, select Classroom.
3. Using the + in the top right hand corner, select join a class.
4. Enter the Class Code: agals5q
5. Select Classwork at the top and you should see the topic “December 2020 – Mint”
6. Underneath this section the lessons are broken out into 4 assignments.
Students complete the whole lesson through 1-hour long lesson in an in-person classroom setting.