Botany Self Paced (Semester: Grades 7-12)

    Discover the incredible beauty and purpose of the plants that fill our Earth. Learn about the history of Botany/famous botanist, how to grow plants, and how plants play a role in our survival. (Nature Journaling, Plant Experiments, Creating 3D Plant Models & More)

    Sample video-https://www.loom.com/share/385e23888be14156ad325deff76ca648?sid=a9bfa44b-78be-4910-81e2-505340c31861

    Class experience-

    Botany is important because people and animals depend on plants in many ways. People and animals get food and oxygen from plants. People also use plants to make clothing, building materials, chemicals, drugs, and countless other things. Many high school biology textbooks include botany as a small chapter buried within lots of microbiology and other topics. This may lead many young people to believe that botany isn’t important or that it isn’t very complex. Nothing could be further from the truth! Many, many careers require a lot of botanical knowledge. But botany affects our lives in many ways from food, shelter, to our health. 

    Length: This course will feature 14 units that can be completed in a semester or over a full year. A full year of Botany will be presented. The tuition for this 14 unit course is $149 total. 


    The following lessons (week studies) are listed below: 

    Week 1– What is Botany? History of Botany, Famous Botanist

    Week 2-3-Parts of a Plant, Leaf Diagram

    Week 4– Seeds (Germination, Parts)

    Week 5 – Flowers: Part 1 (Parts/Pollination)

    Week 6– Flowers: Part 2 (Parts Review/Soils)

    Week 7– Leaves

    Week 8 – Photosynthesis

    Week 9 – Plant Cells

    Week 10 – Plant Classification

    Week 11 – Growing Plants

    Week 12 – Trees (Types, Growth)

    Week 13 – Poisonous and Carnivorous Plants

    Week 14-  Extra Week Added In As Needed For Review, Final Exam, Project Week

    Class Projects/Labs:

    -students will learn how to dry flowers and common weeds

    -students will collect various leaves, rocks, and other nature based items

    -students will draw birds, bugs and trees found in nature in their science spiral

    -students will create a mini ecosystem in a jar

    -students will create propagating plants from veg cuttings

    -students will create a root see through glass container

    -students will create a mini bug collection

    Required Supplies Needed For Daily Class Lessons: spiral notebook, coloring pencils, pencil/pen, nature journal, tape, magnifying glass, container to hold nature collection, scissors. Then please look over the lab supply list in the class description section below. 

    Instruction Information: This 14 week flex course will be provided by a certified science teacher. The lessons for the week will be uploaded to the class wall every Sunday evening (EST) for the student to begin on each Monday. The assignments will involve diagramming parts of the flower, responding to group discussion questions, researching types of plant cell functions, creating a poster project, a scavenger hunt outside searching for items in nature, creating vocabulary notecards, nature journaling, and much more. The course will be highly hands-on with lots of time in nature collecting items that pertain to the course topics. In addition, various items for nature based art will be given too. 

    A full year of Botany will be condensed into this 14 week session, so it is recommended a full year of credit be given once completed. 

    This class covers Next Generation and state Botany standards. 

    State and Next Generation Science Standards will be taught during this course to make sure a middle or high school Botany credit is given. 


    Why is botany important? 8 benefits of teaching and learning about Botany-

    Many high school biology textbooks include botany as a small chapter buried within lots of microbiology and other topics. This may lead many young people to believe that botany isn’t important or that it isn’t very complex. Nothing could be further from the truth! Many, many careers require a lot of botanical knowledge. In fact, botany–not technology–holds the answers to many of the pressing issues of our time. So, let’s get into my eight benefits.


    Agriculture

    Teaching young people about botany prepares them to tackle the big problems of feeding large populations. Ever hear about genetically engineered food or patented seeds? Those things came from an understanding of plant genetics, a division of botany. Scientists at big agribusinesses study the genetics of crops so they can create pest and disease resistant strains. They do this by inserting genetic material from other organisms. These companies also use their knowledge to select crops with higher yields or other desirable traits. They then sell the genetically engineered seeds to farmers, hoping that the corn, wheat, and soy crops will be superior.


    Gardening

    Vegetable gardening is a lot like agriculture, but on a smaller scale. However, landscaping is also a form of gardening. How do landscapers know which plants will thrive in a given environment? How do they know which ones will complement each other? Just as in agriculture, people need to know their particular plants’ needs. They also need to know how to approach pest control and methods to improve the quality of the vegetables or flowers. All of these things involve some knowledge of botany. Teaching young people about gardening prepares them to successfully grow their own food and also create beauty. In recent years, growing your own food has become more and more important as challenges arise with transporting food worldwide. Growing your own food also provides the benefits of eating seasonally.


    Botany is important to medicine

    Did you know that at least 25% of all drugs are derived from plants? That’s right. Without these medications, many people would suffer. Even some common drugs such as aspirin were developed from plant chemicals. Of course, I prefer traditional herbal remedies and essential oils. And, in most parts of the world, these traditional remedies are all that’s available. But, even natural remedies require special botanical knowledge. And, it’s by spending time with tribal healers and studying traditional plant uses that researchers discover promising new medications. Your child could discover the cure for the world’s worst diseases in a remote jungle somewhere. Botany holds the answers to these pressing problems.


    Textiles

    Another reason why botany is important is textiles. Textiles are basically fabrics. Most fabrics come from plants. This means that clothing, drapes, upholstery, shoes, bedding, and carpeting were created using plant-based materials. We need innovative solutions for fabrics that can be easily broken down and remade into new material. How about materials that protect us from sun damage, repel insects, and nurture our skin? Research into new and better textile plants may hold some answers.


    Construction

    We use more than wood from trees in our construction projects. What about rubber or bamboo? Learning more about sustainable forestry and rapid growth trees, shrubs, and canes may hold the keys to better housing materials. We need young people interested in botany to research recyclable, sustainable plants and trees suitable for building projects. The rapidly growing world needs new innovations for accommodating the expanding population and industry. Botany offers some possibilities.


    Wilderness Survival

    This may not be a pressing need, but another reason why botany is important is wilderness survival. Most of us will never find ourselves in the situation of being lost in the woods, desert, or mountains. But, it does happen. And, in some parts of the world, people still forage for food and rely on the forest for sustenance. Knowing which plants are good for food, which ones are good for medicine, and which ones are poisonous could save your life. And, as I mentioned above, could provide clues for the development of new medications.


    Botany is important to energy

    Another benefit of teaching botany is a better understanding of the role of plants in energy use and production. For example, trees help control cooling costs during the summer months. And, straw bale homes are more energy efficient. In addition, homes furnished with wood furniture and not synthetics are more fire resistant. The study of plants also helps provide clues about solar energy and other renewable energy sources.


    Pollution

    Lastly, plants play an important role in reducing air and water pollution. Knowing which trees to plant to improve air quality in cities and suburbs helps make them cleaner and more beautiful places to live. Learning about the best houseplants for cleaning indoor air can combat building sickness. And, studying wetlands offers some answers to water pollution problems and controlling flooding issues.


    The reasons why botany is important is that botany is the only science you can’t live without. Air, water, and food all come through plants. Learning more about them may not only save your life, but it may make it better, too.


    Science Standard Focus:

    -Life Sciences

    Analyze and interpret data to provide evidence that plants and animals have traits inherited from parents and that variation of these traits exists in a group of similar organisms.

    Supporting Content:

    Many characteristics of organisms are inherited from their parents. Different organisms vary in how they look and function because they have different inherited information.

    -Life Sciences

    Use evidence to support the explanation that traits can be influenced by the environment.

    Supporting Content:

    Other characteristics result from individuals' interactions with the environment. Examples of the environment affecting a trait could include normally tall plants grown with insufficient water are stunted. Many characteristics involve both inheritance and environment.

    -Life Sciences

    Construct an argument that plants and animals have internal and external structures that function to support survival, growth, behavior, and reproduction.

    Supporting Content:

    Plants and animals have both internal and external structures that serve various functions in growth, survival, behavior, and reproduction. Examples of plant structures could include thorns, stems, roots, colored petals.

    -Life Sciences

    Develop a model to describe the movement of matter among plants, animals, decomposers, and the environment.

    Supporting Content:

    Emphasis is on the idea that matter that is not food (air, water, decomposed materials in soil) is changed by plants into matter that is food. The food of almost any kind of animal can be traced back to plants. Organisms are related in food webs in which some animals eat plants for food and other animals eat the animals that eat plants. Some organisms break down dead organisms (both plants or plants parts and animals) and therefore operate as "decomposers." Matter cycles between the air and soil and among plants and animals as these organisms live and die. Plants obtain gases and water from the environment and release waste matter (gases) back into the environment.

    Organisms can survive only in environments in which their particular needs are met. A healthy ecosystem is one in which multiple species of different types are each able to meet their needs in a relatively stable web of life. Newly introduced species can damage the balance of an ecosystem.

    -Physical Sciences

    Use models to describe that energy in animals' food (used for body repair, growth, motion, and to maintain body warmth) was once energy from the sun.

    Supporting Content:

    The energy released from food was once energy from the sun that was captured by plants in the chemical process that forms plant matter (from air and water). Examples of models could include diagrams, and flow charts.

    -Life Sciences

    Support an argument that plants get the materials they need for growth chiefly from air and water.

    Supporting Content:

    Emphasis is on the idea that plant matter comes mostly from air and water, not from the soil.

    -Life Sciences

    Use evidence to construct an explanation for how the variations in characteristics among individuals of the same species may provide advantages in surviving and reproduction.

    Supporting Content:

    Examples of cause and effect relationships could be plants that have larger thorns than other plants may be less likely to be eaten by predators.

    -Life Sciences

    Construct an argument with evidence that in a particular habitat some organisms can survive well, some survive less well, and some cannot survive at all.

    Supporting Content:

    Examples of evidence could include needs and characteristics of the organisms and habitats involved. The organisms and their habitat make up a system in which the parts depend on each other.

    -Life Sciences

    Construct a scientific explanation based on evidence for the role of photosynthesis in the cycling of matter and flow of energy into and out of organisms.

    Supporting Content:

    Plants use the energy from light to make sugars (food) from carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and water through the process of photosynthesis, which also releases oxygen. These sugars can be used immediately or stored for growth or later use. Emphasis is on tracing movement of matter and flow of energy.

    -Life Sciences

    Develop a model to describe the cycling of matter and flow of energy among living and nonliving parts of an ecosystem.

    Supporting Content:

    Food webs are models that demonstrate how matter and energy is transferred between producers, consumers, and decomposers as the three groups interact within an ecosystem. Transfers of matter into and out of the physical environment occur at every level. Decomposers recycle nutrients from dead plant or animal matter back to the soil in terrestrial environments or to the water in aquatic environments. The atoms that make up the organisms in an ecosystem are cycled repeatedly between the living and nonliving parts of the ecosystem.

    -Life Sciences

    Develop a model to describe the flow of energy through the trophic levels of an ecosystem.

    Supporting Content:

    Food webs can be broken down into multiple energy pyramids. Concepts should include the 10% rule of energy and biomass transfer between trophic levels and the environment. Emphasis is on describing the transfer of mass and energy beginning with producers, moving to primary and secondary consumers, and ending with decomposers.


    Next Generation Science Standards-https://newfs.s3.amazonaws.com/docs/next-generation-science-standards-for-go-botany.pdf


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