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Need ideas for co-op class on Botany - Stems

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I'm supposed to teach our Botany class this Thursday and the chapter is on Stems. Really, there's not much to it. We've already done the celery experiment but we'll do the Seeking the Light experiment. I'll still have time left over though and I don't know what to do.


Please help me come up with some ideas. I'm nervous enough about teaching the class let alone coming up with something fun. What about an edible review (with candy making up the various parts of the plant) but what to use?


Thank you,

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Comparing various stems. Certain qualities - texture, toughness, color, cross-section, etc. Talking about what advantages the type of stem gives the plant in its particular niche.


Xylem and phloem, how it all works (I know you did the celery experiment, but how detalied did you get?).


I think if you want to do edible plant things, I'd have them eat real plants. Have them eating potato and identifying it as a root. Eat lettuce - leaf. And on and on.


Or, in the same vein, you can take various fruits and identify where the flower parts were on them before they grew into fruit. Eat the fruits. :)

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Tree rings?




If you can find any old Christmas trees, you might even be able to cut off a few ends of the trees so kids can look at and count rings.



Comparing monocot and dicot stems. Kids could pick which one to build a model of after discussing the differences and similarities. You could supply several edible things and let the kids decide how to put it all together.

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Stems aren't boring! They're amazing! And totally useful. Wood for house, reeds for baskets...


If you had a pile of 20 different kinds of stems and went through the different characteristics and looked for where the water goes up them... That just seems really fun to me, but I guess I like that sort of thing. I think if you just TALK about stems, it is boring. But you could do so much. Like if you could collect 3-4 different types and you could do some sort of strength test on them during class - hang weights from them and see how much they can hold up before bending and also before breaking (rigid ones could hold more before bending but would eventually break), that would be really fun to do, I think.

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