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Botany: Teachers

Plant with red berries

Basic Botany

Annenberg Learner, in connection with Harvard-Smithsonian, has developed an online program for educators called Essential Science for Teachers: Life Science. The Plants lesson features an excellent overview video and study of botany that will benefit all K-6 teachers.

Learn more about plant life cycles and reproduction with this presentation from Western Oregon University.

Young plants that have just started growing

Terrific Botany Resources

The Great Plant Escape from the University of Illinois is an award-winning, multi-faceted interactive site with information, diagrams, and activities on all aspects of plant life. Spanish version available.

The Plants-in-Motion website from Indiana University features amazing time-lapse photography of plant movement, including germination, growth, reproduction, and tropisms (response to stimuli).

Missouri Botanical Gardens has a great website for students and teachers with facts, songs, and ready-to-use lesson plans on seed dispersal, plant growth, and pollination.

 

Field of sunflowers

Resources for Teachers from PBS

PBS Learning Media has complete lesson plans that use amazing NOVA video clips and interactive activities to teach Plant Life Cycles (K-5), Exploring Plants (K-2), Living Life as a Plant (3-5), How Plants Get Energy (3-5) and Plant Structure and Function (5-7).

If you have access to ipads or tablets for your classroom, PBS Kids Scratch Jr.has an activity for primary-grade teachers that combines botany education with computer literacy. Students learn about what plants need as they grow their own digital plants.

yellow flower

Lesson Plans and More

For early childhood and K-1 educators, Plant Life Teacher's Guide is a treasure. It includes background information and 16 hands-on learning experiences involving seeds, plant parts, growth, flowers, and human use of plants. If you teach younger students, you will want to check this out.

The US Forest Service has terrific resources and detailed lesson plans on flower parts, pollinators, and the importance of plants to humans, with extensions, worksheets, and downloadable visuals.

Take a look at this lesson on plant parts for K-2 students from the American Association for the Advancement of Science. For 2nd and 3rd grades, find lesson plans on seeds and plant needs, and on plant life cycles. For grades 2-5, see this photosynthesis lesson plan, slideshow, and song.

yellow flower with butterfly

Smithsonian in the Classroom has a complete lesson plan on pollination and the vital partnership between plants and bees. University of California offers Flight of the Pollinators, a fun, hands-on activity where students take on a pollinator's perspective, adopting the role of a bee, moth, butterfly, or hummingbird.

Plants: A Collection of Teaching Resources from Scholastic features several lessons to help K-5 students study the structures, varieties, life cycles, and uses of plants, seeds, flowers, and trees. For example, From Seed to Plant for grades K-2, has lessons on exploring seeds, dissecting plants, and investigating the plant-based products we use. For grades 3-6, check out Plants: 11 Study Jams, which features 11 videos with interactive activities on photosynthesis, flowers, angiosperms and gymnosperms, and plant adaptations. Your students will love these!

Experiments, Experiments

Jars with plants and identifying tags

Plants for Kids from Delaware State University Herbarium is a terrific website for teachers, with a wealth of hands-on botany experiments for students of all ages.

Wonders of our World from Ohio State University is a collection of plant experiments for elementary grades, with discussion questions, supply lists, and supporting literature.

Botany Science Experiments include investigations into phototropism, gravitropism, transpiration, and vascular systems.

Women planting in pots
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