People Plant Collecting
SUPERVISED PRACTICE OF PLANT
AND DATA COLLECTING
OBJECTIVE: Students will apply the information
they learned about collecting plants and recording data to at least five
different plants collected in the field. They may write the plant collecting
data directly on the margins
of the newspaper the plant is pressed in, or they
may use the Plant
Collecting Data Form
and place it in with the pressed plant. Plants may
be pressed in the field or may be taken back to the classroom to be pressed.
Remember, it is extremely important that the collecting data be kept with
each individual plant collected.
INSTRUCTIONS: Students need a practice run at collecting plants,
recording the collection data and pressing the specimens. These skills
are easily learned, but they do require some practice. The plants collected
will be the first of many that will make up their formal collection.
Some students may not want to carry their plant press out to the study
site. In some ways it is easier to place the specimens in the plant press
in the classroom. A paper bag is a convenient way to carry plants back
to the classroom. Make sure students record the collecting data for
each plant specimen when it is collected. This data must be attached
to each specimen so that it can be placed in the press with the plant.
Cut plant material does not last long and must be pressed as soon a possible.
Good botanical specimens need to be pressed within an hour of being
collected. If there is insufficient time to go to the study site,
collect plants, record data and return to the classroom to press the plants,
an alternate approach should to be devised. There may be desert plants
right outside the classroom that can be collected. Or, the teacher may
bring enough plant material into the classroom for students to share.
The teacher can then take students through the various steps of preparing
and pressing the specimens.
Pruning shears are a help in cutting through woody plant stems. Inexpensive
pruning shears are available at hardware stores. Some school districts
have warehouse catalogs that list them under janitorial or groundskeeping
equipment. It is recommended that each group of students have a pair of