Lesson Plans

Each inquiry-based lesson plan includes key terms, enrichment activities, and standards met. A variety of hands-on or minds-on activities strengthen studentsí critical-thinking and problem-solving skills. The enrichment activities encourage students to integrate biological knowledge and social issues. Extensive links are provided to botanical gardens, museums, and governmental and nongovernmental agencies.

From Curiosity Cabinet to Museum Collection (PDF Version)
Creating a curiosity cabinet introduces students to biological classification schemes, binomial nomenclature, and museum collections. The collecting, classifying, and cataloguing activities integrate biology, history, art, and math. (middle school)

Species and Specimens: Exploring Local Biodiversity (PDF Version)
Students become field biologists as they collect and identify specimens and survey local plant diversity. Lesson includes a quiz and key to the North America Pinaceae. (middle-high school)

North American Plant Distributions: Yesterday, Today, and Tomorrow (PDF Version)
By analyzing plant diversity patterns and biome characteristics, students explore relationships between climate and plant distribution and draw conclusions about future patterns. (high school)

Plants and People (PDF version)
Preparing an illustrated journal of native edible and medicinal plants deepens student knowledge of plant diversity and its importance in everyday life. This lesson provides a base for further study of ethnobotany, plant domestication, and genetically modified foods. (middle school)