Plant Identification Activity
To improve students' observational and communication skills
and to help them learn to identify the plants commonly found in the study
Overview of Activity
Students will work in pairs to identify differences and similarities between two plants. On a pieces of paper, each group will list 5 similarities between the two plants and 5 differences. Students should focus their observations on characteristics which describe the species as a whole, rather than a particular plant.
After rotating through 5 stations of plants, we will stop and as a class read the descriptions about each group of plants. The best descriptions will be compiled to make a list that will stay with that plant. The scientific terms used to describe the students' observations will be introduced and discussed.
A slide show will be presented with all of the plants and the
list of identifying characteristics that the class compiled. Each student will
receive the compiled list of descriptions.
Each group will hand in the list of descriptions that they thought was the best to be graded.
One point may be earned for each similarity and difference; partial credit will be given to lesser quality descriptions which are not representative of the species as a whole. For example, comments referring to insect or mechanical damage, mounting differences of the display plant, and things that are not consistently observable with every plant of the species will receive partial credit.