Category: informal learning (not in classroom)

Eat your weeds logo (c) LStruwe

Handouts: Weedy Plant Information (toxicity, recipes, field identification), from Lena Struwe’s lab

Lena Struwe’s lab group at Rutgers University has developed several resources about common weeds of northeastern North America and these are shared with the public here.  They were…

NYC trees (c) LStruwe

Activity: Street Trees Photolog and Ecosystem Service Calculations, by Amy Berkov

In this activity college students go outside and find ten street trees near their home or school, photograph them, identify them to species, and map them on a…

store candy (c) LStruwe

Activity: Botanical Home Products, by Amy Berkov

What kind of and how much botanical diversity can you find in the products in a a home, or just in a bathroom,  freezer, fridge, or pantry?  Go…

Digitalis (c) Lena Struwe

Activity: iNaturalist Observation Project, by Aaron Liston

This iNaturalist plant observation assignment for college students was developed by Aaron Liston from Oregon State University. It was designed to replace a traditional collection assignment. The students…

flowering cherry tree

Activity: More iNaturalist Species Bingo sheets

Here is an alternative bingo sheet to the previously posted iNaturalist Species Bingo Project. I will post other species bingo sheets in this blog post when they are…

Screenshot Food, Agriculture and Cooking timeline.

Activity: Timeline of Evolution of Food, Agriculture, and Cooking, by Lena Struwe

This interactive timeline marking major events in the history and evolution of food, crops, migration of food, agriculture and cooking methods were created in 2012 by myself (Lena…

Passiflora incarnata dissection part copyright Ben Montgomery

Images: Virtual Flower Dissections, by Ben Montgomery

Looking for images of dissected flowers that you can turn 360 degrees to understand how flowers are constructed?  Look no more.  Benjamin R. Montgomery at University of South…

oak leaf

Activity and Manual: How to take good and bad photos of plants for online plant identification, by Lena Struwe

This is an assignment I use in my Plant Diversity and Evolution class the week before they start their iNaturalist project.   The students learn how to take great…

Activity: iNaturalist Species Bingo, by Lena Struwe

This activity uses the citizen science tool iNaturalist for a project for high school and college students that focus on species discovery and identification.  Observations are uploaded to…

Chrysler Herbarium, Rutgers University. (c) Lena Struwe

Handout: The etymology of the word ‘herbarium’, by Kanchi Gandhi

How did the word ‘herbarium’ come to be?  It actually has ancient roots in the deep history of Indo-European languages, and its origin and formation in Latin is…

Symbolanthus (Gentianaceae). (c) Jason R. Grant.

Manual: The Naming of Plants – explanations and examples, by Lena Struwe

Looking for a non-technical beginners and intermediate users manual in plant nomenclature that explains scientific names, common names, cultivated and trade names, and what changes in plant classifications…

Activity: Know your numbers – Your body as a linear scale for plant species identification and description, by Lena Struwe

In identification keys and species descriptions around the world, measurements are usually in the metric system, the universal system for scientific measurements. US students often do not have…

Students at Rutgers doing the ER toxic plant role play assignment. Photo (c) Susanne Ruemmele, Rutgers University.

Activity: Toxic plants in the emergency room – fast and furious botanical role play, by Lena Struwe

Emergency Room (ER) toxic plant role play for Botany classes Developed by Dr. Lena Struwe (lena.struwe@rutgers.edu) This is the activity I presented at the Botany 2018 meeting as…

Activity & Book: Shanleya’s Quest – A Botany Adventure for Kids Ages 9 to 99, by Thomas Elpel

This innovative book and its 52 playing cards with flowers and families on them comes with instructions for 5 different card games to enhance learning of major family…

Book: ‘Botany in a Day’, by Thomas Elpel

The new 6th edition of this well-known book by Thomas Elpel follows the APG system (a phylogenetic classification system now used worldwide) and provides easy to access information…

Activity: Fitting the Earth’s timeline onto your body, by Lena Struwe

Key concept: Understanding and remembering order of events and time line for Earth’s geological and biological history. This is the handout for an exercise I do in my…

morphology bingo

Activity: Morphology Bingo, by Lena Struwe

Get your students to run around outside the classroom and dig through the weeds in the lawns to find examples of obtuse, spinose, calyx, capsule, stamen, trichome, and…

Eat your weeds logo

Article: Eat Your Weeds – Edible and Wild Plants in Education, by Lauren Frazee et al.

Weeds are everywhere and people like to taste new things, so why not combine the two?  Here is an article that explains how we did it at Rutgers…

herbals St John's wort, SCLA Rutgers

Handout: Coloring pages of historical herbals, by Rutgers Libraries

Want to travel back in botanical history with watercolor or coloring pens?  Here are some illustrious handouts for students in many subjects (medicine, gardening, pharmacology, botany, history…), as…

Video: Carnivorous Pitcher Plants (13:16), by Chris Martine

Key concept: How pitcher plants lure, trap, and digest insect prey… with the help of millions of mystery microbes. Guest expert for this episode of “Plants are Cool,…

Video: Fossilized Forests (14:59), by Chris Martine

Key concept: Most plant fossils are impressions, but the ones in  Clarkia, Idaho are actual leaves encased in rock for the last 15 millions years… and we might…