to Program's List of Lesson Plans
Teaching People Plant
A series of activities
"Investigating A Desert Study Site"
By Dick Barber
Collecting, preserving and naming plants is a great "hands
on" way to introduce students to field biology. By applying the five activities
presented here, students will become real scientists. They will use all
the steps field-biologists use when making a scientific plant collection.
Activity #1 shows
how to make a quick and easy plant identification notebook from a spiral
binder and clear tape. This plant identification notebook makes it easy
for students to collect reference specimens and learn the names of plants
they collect. Plant identification is also easier on the teacher since
students can refer to the notebook for plant names.
In Activity #2
students design their own system for identifying 15 common plants. By
making drawings and writing descriptions of the plants, students begin
to learn basic plant identification vocabulary, observe the differences
and similarities among plants and also learn their names.
Activity #3 guides
students through the steps of constructing a plant press. They are also
instructed how to collect good specimens for pressing and how to make
sure specimens dry.
When plants are collected and pressed, it is very important that information
about the collection site be included with each plant. Activity
#4 discusses all the data that needs to be included with each
pressed plant, and provides a collection data form for students to use.
When pressed plants are dry, they are ready to mount as permanent specimens.
Activity #5 lists
all the steps needed to mount a preserved specimen for permanent storage.
Also included in this activity is a reproducible specimen label and a
plant collection evaluation form.
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