The diverse world of plants is perhaps the weirdest, and most fascinating, of all living things. Bamboo can grow over three feet in one day (you can literally watch it grow). There are 600 species of carnivorous plants, which trap and digest insects, frogs, or small birds (if a vegetarian eats this plant, are they still a vegetarian?). The world’s largest flower, Rafflesia, can grow up to three feet in diameter (how big would a bouquet be...). Do a little digging on your next trip to a botanical garden (not literally!), and see what interesting plant facts you can find.
Students act like plant hunters to observe plant life.
BEFORE YOU GO
-Ask about tours or educational activities, specifically about a season-specific or temporary exhibit
-Visit the website for printouts of worksheets or student guides
-Check the map or ask about hands-on activities or demonstrations
-Ask the staff questions about the exhibits; they’re usually bursting with fun information
WHAT TO WONDER
Ask: Did you know peanuts are beans, pineapples are berries, tomatoes are fruit, and apples are part of the rose family? What plants do you like to eat, smell, look at, or learn about?
Observe each plant carefully and slowly. Notice all parts of the plant, including how it receives food. Read the informational signs around the exhibit.
Describe the colors, textures, smells, and temperatures in each exhibit. Complete the Observation Worksheet.
Opinion: Which plant is the ugliest, the prettiest, and the most useful? Which plant would you like to have in your garden?
Compare two plants that grow in different regions. Contrast deciduous and evergreen plants.
Challenge students to find the most unique plant and share with the group. Carnivorous plants, poisonous plants, and parasitic plants are just a few.
Discuss the interesting plant facts you learned. Distribute the Fun Plant Facts Printout and compare with what you observed.
the products we use that contain ingredients from plants and create an ongoing list that shows how useful plants can be. Learn about the parts of a plant: http://plants.pppst.com/plantparts.html
- provides powerpoint lessons
Project: Take photographs or make drawings of the plant on your trip to create a collage. Plant seeds at school and watch your own plants grow.
: Go green and complete a service learning project! Build a community garden, plant a tree, or learn about the conservation of natural resources. Download project guides at the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service website: http://www.fws.gov/cno/conservation/schoolyard.cfm