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Botany Unit

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This spring, I want to have my girls help me start an organic vegetable garden. I figure it will be an excellent learning experience for them, plus it will (hopefully) provide our family with healthy food to eat!


I'd also like to do some botany experiments, possibly a little botany unit. What do you think are the basic, essential concepts in botany? Any resources that I should check out?


I did find the following experiments, which I thought looked interesting:

* Growing grass in a CD case - to see the root system develop, as well as the sprouts

* Plants grow towards the light - placing plant in a dark box so it must grow towards the light (experiment in phototropism)

* This cool experiment about soil erosion, which illustrates why vegetation is so important

* Breathing trees experiment

* Photosynthesis lab (might be more involved than I want to do this year)

* Make a tabletop biosphere (again, possibly more involved than I want to go this year, but it looks cool)

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I was just going to suggest McHenry's Botany. And here are some good living books and project resources on botany, many of which include experiments - you would need to pick and choose which you'd want to do, but these books were the best I've found.



  • Plant Projects for Young Scientists – Salvatore Tocci
  • Botany Projects for Young Scientists – Maurice Bleifel
  • Plants – Janice VanCleave
  • Living Sunlight: How Plants Bring the Earth to Life – Molly Bang
  • Anatomy of a Rose – Sharman Apt Russell
  • Botany for Dummies
  • Essential Atlas of Botany
  • Fifty Plants that Changed the Course of History
  • 100 Flowers and How They Got Their Names
  • Photosynthesis – Alvin & Virginia Silverstein
  • The Botany of Desire – Michael Pollan

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