Monday, May 11, 2020

WEEK 9 - Botany Week!

It's SPRING!  Plants! Flowers! New leaves!  So... it must be BOTANY WEEK!

Option 1:  Art. Study a plant closely.  Draw it!  Make a careful, detailed sketch!  Create a painting of your plant!  Label the parts! (Stem, roots, leaves, flowers, fruit, nut, blossom, bud, limb, branches, cone... whatever fits the plant you chose.) Or - use plant parts to create something like a gift card.

Option 2: Collect and Save. Press your plant or plant parts to preserve them.  To press leaves or flowers or small plants, use at least two pieces of cardboard and two pieces of paper - newspaper is fine. Don't use magazine paper - you WANT the paper to absorb some of the moisture.  Layer cardboard, paper, plant, paper, cardboard.  Put something heavy on top.  Leave it to dry for 4-6 days. Carefully take it apart.  Now you can use your plant for art or glue it to a paper to save it as a botany specimen - you just started a plant collection! (Video below, and labeled photo)

Option 3: Photography. Take a photo safari of plants.  See if you can find at least 10 different kinds of plants.  Make sure you find at least one of each: tree, shrub, flower, grass.  Try to find native plants, not ones that came from a plant nursery.  Or - do a photo wildflower collection, or a photo tree collection. 
 Arrowleaf balsamrootPhlox

Option 4:  Planting:  It's a bit early to plant new garden plants or flowers outside, but you could start some seeds in soil in a container in the house.  You can use the bottom of a milk carton, or small cans, or the bottom half of plastic bottles.  Add some potting soil or garden dirt.  Plant a few seeds in your dirt, only a tiny bit under the top of the soil, and cover them.  Add some water.  check them each day to see when they come up.  How many leaves at first?   What do the second set of leaves that come out look like?  

Option 5: Yard Survey.  What plants can you find in your own yard?  Make two lists.  Which ones would grow here naturally?  Which ones were chosen and planted on purpose?  Can you put them in categories?  For example, trees, bushes, flowers, vegetables, decorative, native, tall or short, annual (one year only) or long term... or make your own categories.  

Option 6: Dissection.  Find a good flower, and take it apart to see if you can find all the main sections of it.  A big flower like a daffodil or tulip is easiest. (Video below.)

And for those of you who like sharing, there is a Padlet so you can show other students what you did.

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