Favorite Resources to Teach Botany
When it comes to the sciences, botany seems to be the middle child of the bunch. People overlook it for subjects like biology, chemistry and physics. However, botany can be a fascinating subject. After all, plants are all around us – from the wildflowers growing in our yards to the veggies that we eat for dinner.
Not only are plants a part of our daily diet and our nature walks, they also play a vital role in society. Trees provide humans with oxygen. Plants provide animals with sustenance, which in turns provide many of us with reliable food sources.
Plants have also been used widely (and historically) in a variety of medications, teas, and other things we use to stay healthy, both physically and mentally.
When you take a deeper look at the many types of plants that exist and their highly varied applications, it becomes easy to see why Botany is a subject worth studying, especially with our kids in Classical Conversations Cycle 1 this year! In Cycle 1, Botany is covered in depth and the kids are excited for this part of their schooling!
Today, I’m going to share with you my favorite Cycle 1 Classical Conversations resources for teaching botany in your homeschool. I hope that it helps you and your family as you are trying to figure out which resources to use this year!
A list of favorite resources to teach botany wouldn’t be complete without this resource! I have to start with this one because not only is it what we are using now, but it’s my absolute favorite. Apologia’s curricula are always top-notch (in my opinion) and they definitely hit the mark with their Botany resources. Right now, they have 4 different products for you to check out, depending on your needs.
Exploring Creation with Botany Textbook
I highly recommend getting a copy of the textbook for your family. It is part of the Young Explorer’s series, which takes the immersion approach to learning, allowing kids to develop a deep knowledge of a subject rather than touching on a lot of different topics on the surface.
In addition to an introductory lesson on botany and plant classification, this book goes on to discuss the subject in depth. It also includes a variety of activities your family can do with household items. If you space out the lessons to two per week, you will have an entire year’s worth of lessons!
Botany Notebooking Journal
This activity and notebooking journal is the perfect accompaniment to the Exploring Creation textbook. It provides not only a recommended lesson plan for you to follow, but also provides your children with space to complete all of their assignments, record their experiments, and display their work, creative templates, and a 50-question final review to gauge what your child has learned at the end of the year.
This journal, when completed, will serve as an in-depth record of your child’s study of Botany. It includes review questions, scriptural copy work, fascinating facts, field trip sheets, and more.
If you have younger kids who haven’t mastered writing yet (or older kids who still struggle with writing), they also have a Junior Botany Notebooking Journal you can check out. The Junior Notebooking Journal has writing lines that have been modified for students who are still practicing their writing skills.
Each lesson starts with two fun coloring pages to encourage active learning while they are listening to the lesson. Templates encourage creativity, allowing them to both write about and draw what they have learned.
It also includes vocabulary words for them to practice, puzzle cut outs, a variety of vocabulary activities, condensed scripture copy work, and the option to practice either print or cursive handwriting.
Botany Manual for Co-op and Classroom Instructors
If you plan to teach Botany as part of a co-op then this digital teacher’s manual is a great option. It was designed to support the Exploring Creation Botany textbook and includes teaching, projects, and activities that supplement the book. This manual is not a stand-alone guide, so you’d definitely want to buy a copy of the textbook to go along with it.
If you’re looking for a shorter, yet thorough Botany curriculum, I recommend this one. It is available as both a paperback book and as a digital download. 200 pages long, this book represents a full curriculum that is designed for ages 8-14. You get both a student textbook as well as a teacher’s guide.
The student textbook contain 8 chapters, with each chapter containing 2 levels. With younger kids, you can stop at level one or you can dive deeper with level 2. Each level is concluded with review activities such as quizzes and a variety of puzzles.
You also gain access to online activities to further test knowledge. There is also a 100-page activity section filled with games, crafts and experiments for your family to try out. If you have children who enjoy lapbooks, there is a section at the end of the activity section that contains over a dozen lapbook patterns.
You also gain access to a supplemental Youtube channel that contains videos that support every chapter in the text. In short, this is a great way to spend 5 to 10 weeks of school learning about Botany.
Love going for nature walks? Prefer to learn on-the-go? This could be the perfect option for mini Botany lessons. Armed with this book, you and your kids can have fun identifying 33 different kinds of North American trees that are growing in your area.
This is a popular series for a reason. Each well-researched and easily understood book is presented book is written by an expert or team of experts on the subject. Botany for Dummies is no exception.
Written by PhD and Biology instructor, René Fester Kratz, this hefty tome is in the top 15 of Botany textbooks on Amazon. I like it because it presents the subject in a very easy-to-understand way. You can use it to supplement a curriculum, as a stand-alone crash course, or as a way to refresh knowledge.
If you’re looking for videos to help you teach Botany, then you should check out the Brilliant Botany Youtube channel. Hosted by botanist, Claire, this STEM channel invites you to explore Botany, the latest research, and to check out tutorials.
If you have Pokemon fans, they’ll probably love the two-part Pokemon Go Plants series. You can also find an array of resources on the Brilliant Botany website, such as learning resources, pollinator resources, citizen science projects, and tutorials.
More Classical Conversations Science and Botany Resources
This book is not only richly illustrated, but highly educational and perfect for elementary students through high school!
Perfect for little kids to introduce them to flower gardening, this book takes them on a journey as Zinnia plants her garden and watches her flowers grow!
This story teaches the five virtues of a happy life through stories of from the forest!
How do seeds grow into flowers and plants? It’s time to learn how!
Let’s color those flowers!
What flower is that? The National Audubon Society Field Guide to North American Wildflowers will help you discover all sorts of new flowers and plants!
I hope that these resources help you get your Classical Conversations Botany lessons on track this year! If you know of any other cool resources, please let us know in the comments below. 🙂