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Eagle

Botany Unit

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I thought I would post what we have been doing for our unit on Botany. There has been a lot of discussion lately on Quark Chronicles and how it fits into a science program, so I thought this might be useful for others. Quark Chronicles:Botany was the inspiration for this unit as I knew my ds would love it; everything else was added to accompany it. I think this would work for about grades 2-4. Note that guesthollow has a great botany resource for higher levels.

 

We read Quark Chronicles:Botany every night as a read aloud.

 

As we go through Quark, ds points out words with which he is unfamiliar. I jot them down and he does a vocabulary page on the words during school time.

 

We started TOPS Science: Radishes the day after we started Quark. It is a hands-on unit where you grow radishes in various conditions and track the progress of the seeds to plants. It needs to be done every weekday for a month for it to work successfully. It has been invaluable for our unit study.

 

We use Real Science Odyssey:Life (the sections on plants and cells) to enhance ds' retention of the concepts. It has pages on labelling flowers and seeds, learning about monocots vs dicots, etc. Most of the curriculum is on the body and animals, so I wouldn't buy it just for botany, but I do plan to use it with the next two Quark books on zoology and anatomy.

 

We have added a few experiments from Looking at Plants (by David Suzuki) because ds is having so much fun sprouting seeds. You can download it as a pdf.

 

We have a subscription to BrainPop and ds watches all of the related vidoes. We also watched the Eyewitness movies Plant, Tree and Life. We are planning to watch the Bill Nye videos on Biodiversity, Cells, Forests, Plants, Flowers, and Farming.

 

When we have finished TOPS we are going to do level 1 of Ellen McHenry's Botany in 8. This is probably too much for lower elementary, but if your dc are really enthused about botany it could be worth a look. You can check out her site for free printouts and see if they are the right level.

 

Here are the picture books and reference books we are reading to go along with our unit (none of these titles are necessary, they are based on what we had available):

- Shanleya's Quest (and the card game)

- Let's Read and Find Out: What's Alive; Be a Friend to Trees, How Do Apples Grow, From Seed to Pumpkin, Why Do Leaves Change Colour; A Tree is a Plant; How a Seed Grows

- Usborne beginners: How Flowers Grow; Trees

- Living Sunlight (M Bang)

- Gregor Mendel: The Friar Who Grew Peas

- Tree of Life: The Incredible Diversity of Life on Earth

- The Vegetables We Eat (Gail Gibbons)

- Hungry Plants (M Batten)

- No Monkeys, No Chocolate (M Stewart)

- The Woods Scientist (S Swinburne)

- The Tree Book For Kids and Their Grownups

- The One Small Square series

- Look What I Did With a Leaf (M Sohi)

- Basher Science: Biology

- Rookie Read About Science: Ferns

- What is a Living Thing (B Kalman)

- Eyewitness: Tree

- Nature Anatomy (J Rothman)

- Smithsonian Natural History

- local plant guides

 

We also read the following picture books for fun (these are more fiction-based):

- Barbara Bash's Tree Tales: Ancient Ones, Desert Giant, Tree of Life, In the Heart of the Village

- Tree Song (H Stewart)

- Planting a Rainbow (L Ehlert)

- The Dandelion Seed (J Anthony)

- Holly Bloom's Garden

- Apple Picking Time

- The Curious Garden

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I thought I would post what we have been doing for our unit on Botany. There has been a lot of discussion lately on Quark Chronicles and how it fits into a science program, so I thought this might be useful for others. Quark Chronicles:Botany was the inspiration for this unit as I knew my ds would love it; everything else was added to accompany it. I think this would work for about grades 2-4. Note that guesthollow has a great botany resource for higher levels.

 

We read Quark Chronicles:Botany every night as a read aloud.

 

As we go through Quark, ds points out words with which he is unfamiliar. I jot them down and he does a vocabulary page on the words during school time.

 

We started TOPS Science: Radishes the day after we started Quark. It is a hands-on unit where you grow radishes in various conditions and track the progress of the seeds to plants. It needs to be done every weekday for a month for it to work successfully. It has been invaluable for our unit study.

 

We use Real Science Odyssey:Life (the sections on plants and cells) to enhance ds' retention of the concepts. It has pages on labelling flowers and seeds, learning about monocots vs dicots, etc. Most of the curriculum is on the body and animals, so I wouldn't buy it just for botany, but I do plan to use it with the next two Quark books on zoology and anatomy.

 

We have added a few experiments from Looking at Plants (by David Suzuki) because ds is having so much fun sprouting seeds. You can download it as a pdf.

 

We have a subscription to BrainPop and ds watches all of the related vidoes. We also watched the Eyewitness movies Plant, Tree and Life. We are planning to watch the Bill Nye videos on Biodiversity, Cells, Forests, Plants, Flowers, and Farming.

 

When we have finished TOPS we are going to do level 1 of Ellen McHenry's Botany in 8. This is probably too much for lower elementary, but if your dc are really enthused about botany it could be worth a look. You can check out her site for free printouts and see if they are the right level.

 

Here are the picture books and reference books we are reading to go along with our unit (none of these titles are necessary, they are based on what we had available):

- Shanleya's Quest (and the card game)

- Let's Read and Find Out: What's Alive; Be a Friend to Trees, How Do Apples Grow, From Seed to Pumpkin, Why Do Leaves Change Colour; A Tree is a Plant; How a Seed Grows

- Usborne beginners: How Flowers Grow; Trees

- Living Sunlight (M Bang)

- Gregor Mendel: The Friar Who Grew Peas

- Tree of Life: The Incredible Diversity of Life on Earth

- The Vegetables We Eat (Gail Gibbons)

- Hungry Plants (M Batten)

- No Monkeys, No Chocolate (M Stewart)

- The Woods Scientist (S Swinburne)

- The Tree Book For Kids and Their Grownups

- The One Small Square series

- Look What I Did With a Leaf (M Sohi)

- Basher Science: Biology

- Rookie Read About Science: Ferns

- What is a Living Thing (B Kalman)

- Eyewitness: Tree

- Nature Anatomy (J Rothman)

- Smithsonian Natural History

- local plant guides

 

We also read the following picture books for fun (these are more fiction-based):

- Barbara Bash's Tree Tales: Ancient Ones, Desert Giant, Tree of Life, In the Heart of the Village

- Tree Song (H Stewart)

- Planting a Rainbow (L Ehlert)

- The Dandelion Seed (J Anthony)

- Holly Bloom's Garden

- Apple Picking Time

- The Curious Garden

Thanks for taking the time to share this.

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We just finished a similar study!  We read through an ever growing pile of library books, did a few experiments, and made some notebook pages.  I loved it and learned so much myself.  I think my dc picked up a few things, too.

Here is the link to my blog post showing what we used.

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We just finished a similar study! We read through an ever growing pile of library books, did a few experiments, and made some notebook pages. I loved it and learned so much myself. I think my dc picked up a few things, too.

Here is the link to my blog post showing what we used.

Thanks for sharing your plant study Angela. I love the notebook pages your dc did! We do notebooking too and I love to see great examples like yours for inspiration.

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